Two newlyweds had to cancel their honeymoon just 25 minutes before they were due to jet off from Manchester because the flight was too full. Alex and Willow Rymer were pulled to one side at the departure gate before being told the plane had been overbooked.
It was supposed to be a dream holiday in Cape Verde for the newly married couple, with the honeymoon having already been delayed due to coronavirus. For Alex it was also the rare chance to enjoy a holiday, with the 52-year-old being a full-time carer for his mother, who has dementia.
But the couple were left broken hearted when a TUI staff member admitted they were two of 26 people who would not be able to board the plane at Manchester Airport, the Mirror reports. To make matters worse, the company only refunded the couple by the amount paid two years ago, with the flight now worth more due to inflation.
READ MORE: Manchester Airport passengers hit out at ‘carnage’ with long queues and ‘four HOUR wait for luggage’
“We have the cat in the cattery, my mum has dementia and we had to organize care for her,” Alex, from Harrogate, said. Ella Family members have taken time off work to care for her.
“I’m my 94-year-old mother’s full time carer and this was was my week of respite. TUI just don’t give a monkeys. It’s the lack of care.”
Alex and Willow were looking forward to their holiday to the TUI BLUE Cabo Verde resort in Cape Verde, having been there three times before and loved it. They had had to delay their honeymoon for a year, having got married during Covid lockdown.
When Alex tried to check-in online the day before they were due to depart on Sunday, he received an error message, prompting him to call the TUI helpline. After 25 minutes on the phone the line went dead, leading him to hold for 54 minutes a second time before a customer service representative told him to print the boarding pass at the airport.
On Saturday evening Alex and Willow arrived at Manchester Airport and checked into a hotel there, ready to get up bright and early for their Sunday morning flight. After two and a half hours of waiting in the departure hall, and having checked in their bags, a Tannoy message urged them to find a member of staff.
The newlyweds were told that there was not enough room on the 767 – which had been swapped in for the 787 Dreamliner – for them or 24 other people. “They said just six of us weren’t contacted before we got to the airport,” Alex said.
“We said that it was outrageous and they must have known before. They weren’t interested.”
The couple are now fighting to get compensation for their airport hotel stay and parking, while feeling gutted that their honeymoon has been canceled indefinitely. A spokesperson for TUI said: “We would like to apologize for the inconvenience to our customers on flight TOM586 from Manchester to Sal, Cape Verde, on Sunday, May 22, who were affected by an aircraft change due to operational issues.
“We contacted affected customers as soon as we became aware of the change, offering the options to cancel their holiday for a full refund, amend their holiday with an incentive or change onto an alternative flight. We understand how frustrating and disappointing this will have been and are very sorry for the inconvenience caused.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.