Glasgow family’s holiday turns into 43 hour delay hell after TUI axe flights
A filthy pool, bad food and severely delayed flights- a few of the things you would hope not to encounter on holiday.
But for one family from Govan, this was the nightmarish end to what had been their dream vacation in Spain.
Kelly Ann MacKinnon and her kids Layton, 9, and Amelia ,11 months, travelled from Manchester to Andalusia to join husband Kevin on Wednesday, May 18, for an idyllic family holiday on the Costa del Sol.
Kevin had been in Seville earlier in the week for Rangers’ Europa League final and once reunited, the family enjoyed a perfect week in Benalmadena – before flight delays and a hellish hotel stay ruined the trip.
Things took a turn when Kelly Ann, Kevin and their children attempted to fly back to Manchester with airline providers TUI on Wednesday, May 25.
The family told Glasgow Live they arrived on time for their 11.10am flight home but less than an hour before their flight was due to depart, it was delayed ‘indefinitely’, before being axed later that day.
During the seven hour hold-up at Malaga airport, the family received two texts from TUI apologising for the ‘indefinite delay’ to their flight and were offered €12 in food vouchers per person.
But the family of four were given just three coupons as tot Amelia didn’t qualify.
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Kelly Ann said: “They refused to provide my daughter with one as she didn’t have her own seat. She is 11 months old and still needs to eat, we are just grateful she is still breastfeeding or it would have been worse.”
Eventually, TUI sent the family to stay overnight at Sol Principal near the airport, where a “filthy” swimming pool welcomed the family. The children were even left with “a rash” after taking a dip, furious mum Kelly Ann told us.
The 35-year-old said: “On the face of it looked nice but after letting the kids in the pool to cool off after being stuck at the airport all day they both came out covered in a rash!
“The pool was filthy and the food was shocking.”
To make matters worse, Kelly Ann said holiday providers TUI were meant to provide one drink at dinner – but her and husband Kevin “had to fight for” water.
She said: “Our holiday was great up until trying to get home on Wednesday. We booked everything through TUI, flying from Manchester as that was the only flights we could get in time for the game.
“Our holiday dates were May 18 to 25 but didn’t flight back until May 27.
“TUI are an absolute joke of a company.”
Kelly Ann said that after TUI transferred the family to a hotel on Wednesday afternoon they didn’t hear from the holiday providers for another 24 hours – and had to be informed of further flight delays by staff at the hotel.
She said: “We had no contact from TUI at all. It was the hotel who advised us we had to stay there for another day.
“The one rep that did come to the hotel after over 24 hours of being delayed was hopeless and actually ran away from me when I was talking.
“She admitted they knew the flight was delayed before they checked us in the first time on Wednesday morning but wouldn’t tell us why.
“I asked what would happen regarding compensation, especially as our car was in the meet and greet car park in Manchester, and she ran away from me.”
The family then returned to Malaga airport on Friday to board their flight home but once again were met with a seven hour delay.
Kelly Ann said: “We got picked up from that hotel at 12.30am on the Friday to be faced with delays again. Our flight didn’t leave until 7.30am.”
This time, however, the family were not offered an overnight stay or any vouchers for food.
She said: “There were no shops open at Malaga. We were only given a bottle of water and Pringles once the plane set off.
“When we finally got back into Manchester Airport we had to wait three hours to get our bags back.”
By the time the family returned to Glasgow at 7.30pm that Friday, they had been travelling for over 12 hours and were ‘sick, shattered and broken’.
Kelly Ann said: “I have since received an email to say we will be entitled to £350 per person due to the delay and a £200 voucher which is no use as I wouldn’t feel confident flying with them again.
“We were delayed twice so I feel we should at least get the government standard claim twice.
“It appears it doesn’t matter if you are delayed three hours or 46 hours, you get the same amount.
“We have encountered extra expenses due to spending two extra days away, we had to buy my daughter clean clothes and nappies. My husband lost two days of work. Plus we had to drive back to Glasgow on zero sleep.”
A spokeswoman from TUI said: “We’d like to apologise to customers travelling on flight TOM2301 from Malaga to Manchester which was unable to depart as planned on Wednesday 25 May due to operational issues.
“All impacted customers were offered welfare vouchers, overnight accommodation and were provided with meals while we worked through a new flight plan.
“We were in regular contact with customers, and advised them of their new departure time as soon as we could. The flight departed for Manchester at 06:27 local time on Friday 27 May.”
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