A father has said a “special holiday” for his terminally ill daughter was cancelled by TUI as they sat on the runway waiting for their plane to take off.
Huw Davies, from Porthcawl, had booked a holiday to Tenerife from Cardiff aiport with travel agency TUI but was “absolutely devastated” after the flight was cancelled.
He claimed he had boarded the flight with eleven other family members for the getaway, which his daughter chose in memory of her late mother.
“This was a family outing for my daughter who has terminal cancer,” he told Wales Online. “It was going to be her last family holiday – and we just got booted off this flight.”
The flight had been due to take off at 1:25pm on Tuesday but was reportedly delayed by an hour. When passengers did finally get on the plane, they had to sit on the runway for another hour while a malfunctioning part was fixed.
Holidaymakers then started to receive text messages and emails from TUI saying their whole holiday had been cancelled.
Mr Davies said: “I think it’s a load of b****** that they’ve said the engine went down, because that plane had flown in from Alicante. If this part was obviously malfunctioning on the way into the airport, why the hell did they load us? Why did they go through the motions?
“They knew that that plane wasn’t going to take off.”
He added that he had not received a notification to tell him the holiday was cancelled, but instead found out from other passengers. “I’ve phone TUI’s headquarters,” he said, “and a message comes straight down the line that they’re dealing with this and we’d be contacted. So they knew that they were going to cancel this flight and several round the country.”
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Mr Davies said that his son had booked the holiday as a surprise for his ill daughter.
“It was a special holiday and to make it worse, we asked my daughter where she wanted to go, because she’s recently lost her mother. She wanted to go back to where we took my wife on holiday for the first time,” he told Wales Online.
He said that the family is around £9000 out of pocket to TUI.
A spokesperson for TUI UK said on Wednesday: “We’d like to apologise to customers travelling on flight TOM6286 from Cardiff to Tenerife today which was unfortunately cancelled due to operational issues.
“Customers affected by flight cancellations will receive a full refund for their holiday within 14 days.”
They said that “unfortunately the increase in people going on holidays combined with various operational and supply chain issues, has meant that a small number of our flights have been impacted.”