Passengers ‘distraught’ after flight to Spain delayed for two days
Passengers at Belfast International Airport have been left ‘distraught’ after their flight to Spain was canceled for a second day due to technical issues.
The TUI flight was due to leave for Malaga at 6.20am on Sunday morning.
However, passengers were left stranded in Belfast for a second day awaiting their flight after learning that the plane they were originally due to depart on was ‘damaged’.
READ MORE: Dublin Airport passengers furious at returning ‘insane’ security queues that stretched into car park
Friends Denise Campbell and Mandy Foster, both 56, from Carrickfergus, have been at the airport since 3am on Sunday morning.
“We were told our flight would leave Belfast for Malaga at 5pm tonight, then it was pushed back to 7pm and now it’s supposed to be 8.45pm. That still means we’ll be missing two days of our holiday week,” Denise said. told Belfast Live.
“We’ve been accommodated in hotels all over Belfast, but people are completely clueless. We have disabled people here, families with children who have special needs, but the majority of passengers are elderly people.
“We’ve all been up since about 2am on Sunday and when we got here we were keeping an eye on the departures board for information, which was due at 5.30am. It was just saying head for the gate but there was no door number..
“It continued and when one of the passengers asked a member of staff what was going on, he was told that the flight usually departed from a certain gate, so some people started heading in that direction. “
Denise added: “Nothing was happening and there was no TUI representative. It took an hour and a half for a member of airport staff to tell us there was a technical problem in England with the plane, so we would be delayed.
“The majority of us ended up spending the night at the Maldron Hotel at the airport while others were accommodated in other hotels around Belfast. The hotel staff were wonderful and very accommodating, but we had to check out at noon on Monday.
“We still don’t know what time our flight will leave tonight, if at all. It’s been awful because for most of us it’s our first holiday. post-pandemic .”
In a statement, a TUI spokesperson said: “We would like to apologize to customers traveling on flight TOM1722 from Belfast to Malaga which was unable to depart as scheduled on Sunday 22 May due to technical issues.
“We have found a new aircraft for the passengers so we can get them on holiday as soon as possible and we understand how frustrating delays are.
“We have offered all affected customers overnight accommodation, transfers to and from the airport and have been in regular contact with them, advising them of their new departure time as soon as possible.
“Customers on this flight are entitled to compensation in accordance with regulations and we have proactively sent them information on how to submit a claim.
“We appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers and are sorry for any inconvenience caused.”
Separately, hundreds of people were stranded at Belfast International Airport after a easyJet the flight to Portugal was cancelled.
Flights to Bristol and from Gatwick have also been cancelled.
In a statement, easyJet confirmed that its flight to Faro had been canceled due to earlier delays which it said caused “the crew to reach their maximum working hours”.
The airline apologized for the inconvenience and said customers could be transferred to another flight or receive a refund.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Council reminds those affected by canceled flights to and from Northern Ireland of their consumer rights.
Richard Williams, head of transport at the Consumer Council, advises: “Passengers who have been affected by canceled flights should be offered a full refund within seven days, or re-routing via alternative transport as soon as possible by the airline company.
“Our advice to passengers is to research the travel option that best suits them when arranging alternative travel with their airline.”
He added: “Passengers should be aware that they may also be entitled to compensation due to the cancellation of their flight. To claim compensation, passengers can complete an online form on the easyJet or TUI website.
“If passengers remain unsatisfied with the airline’s response, they can contact the Consumer Council by calling 0800 121 6022 or emailing [email protected] and we will deal with the complaint on their behalf. “
Consumers can find out more about their rights as passengers by downloading the free “Plane Facts” guide at www.consumercouncil.org.uk .
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox by subscribe to our newsletter