Passengers fork out hundreds for taxis and hire cars after flight to Manchester Airport diverted to Gatwick

A plane bound for Manchester instead landed in London this weekend leaving some passengers with taxi bills of more than £800 to get back up to the North West. The TUI flight from Antalya was already delayed three hours before landing at Gatwick in the early hours of Saturday (June 25) morning.

Cameron Barlow was traveling back to the UK after a trip with his girlfriend and 6-year-old son and was already lacking sleep after their flight eventually left at 3.22am. This was then followed by ‘rumours’ amongst the passengers that the plane was going to land in Birmingham, and not Manchester, where everyone intended to go.

However, Mr Barlow says that staff reassured passengers they would still be landing in Manchester. This would not be the case.

READMORE:TUI plane makes emergency landing after ‘three or four loud bangs’ heard with passengers left screaming

Due to earlier delays and the crew ‘running out of hours’ the flight was diverted to Gatwick Airport in London, leaving passengers with a separate journey to Manchester. And with tube strikes in London and train strikes across the UK this became a very tough situation, Mr Barlow said.

“We were told there would be coaches to take us the rest of the way when the diversion was announced,” he said. “But we were soon told by the reps that no coaches would be coming.

TUI has suffered a number of problems and delays to and from Manchester in recent months

“We were then told we could pay for a taxi or a hire car and we’d be reimbursed. I had to go to all the hire places around the different terminals and was lucky to get one in the end. It cost over 200 quid .

“I had been up for 24-hours by this point too, the last thing I needed to be doing was driving but I was left with no other choice. I bumped into some others who’d been on the flight at a service station on the way to Manchester who said their taxi was going to cost £850.

“We were supposed to have got a text by now about a refund and compensation but I don’t trust that will come soon. Everyone just felt dumped in this terrible situation, some didn’t have their license to hire a car and some couldn’t ‘t afford the taxi fee.

“Nobody had a chance, it was all kicking off. Everyone felt they had just been told lie after lie throughout.”

A TUI spokesman said: “We’d like to apologize to customers traveling on TOM857 from Antalya to Manchester Airport on 25 June, which was diverted to London Gatwick Airport due to an earlier delayed flight. We communicate with customers as quickly as we can if there are any changes to their holiday and offer transport, overnight accommodation, meals and refreshments as needed.

“Our teams worked hard to secure transport back to Manchester for all customers, however events in the area and rail strikes in London meant this took longer than usual. We’ll be directly contacting customers shortly to explain how they’ll be reimbursed for any additional expenses incurred in relation to the fun.

“We understand that last minute delays and diversions are incredibly disappointing and would like to reassure customers that we do everything we can to get them home as planned. We’d like to apologize again for the inconvenience and we thank customers for their understanding.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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