Family escorted off plane by police suffered four cancellations in 48 hours

A family had their hard earned break in the sun ruined by four cancellations in 48 hours, with police having to intervene on the third occasion. Ian McStein was due to depart to Crete from Manchester Airport at the end of May, but was instead met with a chaotic 48-hours of cancellation after cancellation.

The 43-year-old travelled with his family from Runcorn in nearby Cheshire to Manchester Airport on May 29 to depart on their Tui flight and were first met with long queues. The dad-of-four was then informed that their first flight was cancelled, and that they should go home and return the next day, the ECHO reports.

But it didn’t end there, their misery had only just started. Their next scheduled flight then did not have any bottled water on, cancelling it, and their next plane spent nearly four hours on the runway before police boarded to inform passengers the flight could not leave.

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The next plane they were told to board then ‘didn’t have enough seats’ leading to the family scrapping the whole holiday. Pictures later shared on a WhatsApp group showed plenty of empty seats on this plane however.

Ian told the ECHO: “We got there four hours early, we’d heard about the queues. The first plane we couldn’t fly on, don’t know why.

“The second plane we couldn’t fly on, it didn’t have bottled water. And then next, we sat on the runway for three-and-a-half hours.

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“The pilot didn’t have enough air time, enough flying hours. This was 2 or 3 in the afternoon. We’re waiting to get through security, it took two hours.

“In the end the police had to come, not to calm us down, no-one was kicking off, it was broken (to us) by the police – there were no Tui reps whatsoever apart from the police – they told us our flight time was the next day at 12.45pm. We got there at 9am. Tui passengers had a special gate to go and check in.

“We were all pretty happy to be fair that we had a special gate, we all got through check-in and security pretty fast, went down to the gate. Most of the passengers went down to the gate, we were all made up. We were flying on a Tui Dreamliner.

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Aerial view of the harbor of the famous resort Chersonissos, Crete, Greece

“It was 45 minutes before boarding, 16 passengers got a text message to say ‘we are really sorry for the disruption to your journey, the aircraft is smaller than originally scheduled, which resulted in us having to remove some of our customers from today’s flight. We are sorry to confirm you are one of these’.”

With no reps available, Ian asked to speak to a manager who insisted the plane was too small but “went red in the face” when Ian said how many spare seats the flight had. He added: “He went red in the face and said ‘there’s been a mess up here’. We got cancelled because there ‘wasn’t enough room’ on that plane. There were 30 (empty) seats.”

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A spokeswoman for TUI said: “We would like to apologise to Mr McStein and his family. The aircraft originally scheduled for flight TOM2744 from Manchester to Heraklion on Sunday, May 29, was changed at the last minute due to operational issues, impacting a small number of customers.

“We contacted everyone as soon as we became aware of the change, offering the option 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.”

An On The Beach spokesperson said: “We’re sorry to hear about Mr McStein’s experience following the late cancellation of his TUI flight. We have spoken to Mr McStein and we have offered him a full refund in line with EU regulations.”