We were kicked off the plane to our Greek holiday after TUI overbooked the flight- after we waited 2 DAYS at the airport

A FAMILY hoping to jet off for a Greek holiday were kicked off the plane after TUI overbooked the flight – and they’d been waiting two days at the airport.

The Riley family, Daniel, 43, his wife, Diane, 41, and their daughter Eva, 11, finally got out of Manchester Airport at 5pm on Monday, two days after they first arrived.


The news comes as travellers were hit by travel chaos at many of Britain’s airports for the sixth day in a row

Brits were already suffering in long queues by 7am this morning as people were trying to make the most of the long bank holiday weekend for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Rileys were booked to fly to Crete on Sunday morning and had taken up TUI’s advice to drop off their baggage the night before to help ease congestion.

They had travelled up from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and waited for three hours in “chaos” at Manchester Airport before they could finally check their bags in at around 8pm on Saturday.

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They then booked into an on-site hotel, ready for the following day.

The family quickly moved through to departures at 4am but then came up against huge delays and cancellations which ultimately led to them not going on holiday at all.

On Sunday, they sat in the plane on the runway for three hours before all the passengers were taken back inside the airport.

They waited for another three hours before the airline messaged everyone to say the flight had been cancelled and they should return the next afternoon.

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"There was nobody there to give you any information," Daniel told The Mirror.

"We'd waited on the runway for hours, due to the backlog of cases and lack of staff they couldn't get the luggage onto the plane.

"And eventually when the luggage did come out and they started loading it, because of the time we'd been waiting they were forced to unload it and the flight was delayed."

After several hours the passengers were told they could not be put up in hotels and they should either make their way home or book themselves into accommodation.

BACK TO THE AIRPORT

Having collected their luggage, the Rileys found a nearby hotel and returned to the airport on Monday afternoon.

Daniel said: "We got down to the departure gate and they called our names and some other couples to come to the information desk. We were told all the flight had been moved to a smaller plane so they were removing people and as we hadn’t booked direct through TUI as a package holiday – we'd only got the flights with TUI so they removed us."

When the flight flashed up and the gate number was announced the family were “excited again” despite the wait.

However, Daniel said there were rumours “fluttering about” as some passengers had received emails suggesting the plane had less capacity.

"As soon as we got our name called we knew that was it then," Daniel said.

"They just walked us to a door and said there'll be a representative on the opposite side, and then they shut the door but there was no one there, so you were left not knowing anything. That was the worst part."

They finally left the airport at 5pm on Monday with their dreams of a sunny break in Greece turned to dust.

The Rileys booked their break through On the Beach (OTB) and have since been told by TUI they can be reimbursed for the flights but this has to be done through the booking agent.

FULL REFUND AND VOUCHER

A spokesperson for OTB said: "We’re really sorry to hear about Mr Riley’s experience. We have spoken to Mr Riley this morning and have processed a full refund and a voucher as a goodwill gesture for the inconvenience caused.”

The family had also paid an extra £1,500 directly to the hotel in Crete for an upgrade but have been told by the hotel this is non-refundable.

To make things worse, Daniel said one of their cases had been lost.

The family has not booked to fly to a different resort in Crete using another airline and are due to fly out of Birmingham airport later this week.

A TUI spokesperson said: "We would like to apologise for the inconvenience to our customers on flight TOM2744 from Manchester to Heraklion on Sunday 29 May 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. We understand how frustrating and disappointing this will have been and are very sorry for the inconvenience caused."

They added that passengers who were denied boarding have been “proactively” sent a link to make a claim.

Staff shortages, IT issues, air traffic problems and a surge of travellers post-Covid have caused a "perfect storm" of chaos for holidaymakers.

At London's busy Heathrow Airport, bag drop-off lines snaked around the corner by 7am today as desperate Brits tried to make their flights.

In Bristol, travellers were forced to watch the sunrise as they stood in massive queues outside the terminal building in a bid to check in and get on their flights.

And travellers across the country have been warned the disruption could get worse – as unions say there'll be problems throughout "the entire summer".

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There are problems around the UK, with would-be holiday-makers urged not to arrive at the airport more than three hours early – despite facing horrific five-hour queues that snake through terminals into car parks outside.

Even when they do make it to departures they still face a gruelling getaway lottery, with hundreds of flights scrapped.


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