An 87-year-old from Peterborough and her daughter were left close to tears when their TUI flight home was delayed, causing 20 hours of stress and ill-health.
Linda Doyle, (52) and her mother Lidy, (87), have now both been given compensation after their flight home from Fuerteventura Airport in Spain was delayed for more than 20 hours.
Lidy was coming home to Birmingham Airport on June 16 from her last holiday abroad when the delay happened.
Linda said: "Mother’s passport expires next year and due to her age and her health getting progressively worse, with diabetes and arthritis, she decided that she’s not going to renew it. We decided to book a last trip abroad together”.
Whilst waiting for their airport transfer, another passenger informed them that a runway had been closed at Birmingham airport but passengers received no information about this from airline representatives.
Once checked-in, the departures board said their flight was delayed; this continued for hours.
Passengers were then told that Fuerteventura airport closes at night and that they wouldn’t be able to stay there.
Linda said: “We were still hopeful that we would be called to board before the airport shut but we weren’t. It got to near mid-night and the runway in Birmingham had reopened at 5pm, we were originally due to fly at 9pm!”
They were sent to reclaim their baggage. Linda was left to carry two large suitcases which were difficult to manage.
“Suddenly there was a rush of passengers grabbing tickets from airline reps which turned out to be accommodation vouchers. We were ushered outside and onto a coach. We didn’t know where we were going and there was a lack of information on how long the journey would be.”
The coach trip was an hour and a half long, during which Lidy’s legs began to cramp up due to her arthritis.
“I tried to get the driver to stop so that my mother could get more comfortable but he didn’t speak English and there were no reps with us to translate. I had to get my mother into an aisle seat as she was in agony.
“I was very worried that we had not been given any food or drink as my mother has type two diabetes which is diet and tablet controlled. We had also run out of medication as we didn’t
anticipate such a delay.”
They finally arrived at a hotel on the opposite end of the island and a small buffet was put on for passengers. The alternative accommodation was not the same standard as their holiday hotel and was less suitable for elderly guests.
The passengers were given boarding passes for a flight home at 1.15pm the following day but when they went back to the airport, that flight was also delayed. They eventually boarded at 4.45pm and flew home at 5.30pm, 20hours later than scheduled.
Upon returning home, Linda was given a letter from TUI telling her to claim for the delay through her travel insurance company. This was unsuccessful as the details the airline had provided were all wrong, including timings.
“The whole experience ruined our last holiday together. It’s put me off travelling with TUI ever again, I just couldn’t face it.”
After writing to TUI twice and being told they weren’t eligible for flight delay compensation, Linda instructed law firm Bott and Co to help them recover 400 Euros each.
The firm have begun legal action to get TUI to take responsibility under EU Regulation 261/2004.