Mum’s ‘nightmare’ after TUI flight scrapped at Birmingham airport costs her 24 hour holiday

A mum-of-three has slammed travel giant TUI after she lost a day’s holiday in the sun when her flight was canceled causing a huge queue at Birmingham Airport. Sasha Gray and her sons were delighted with a getaway to Cape Verde – but their holiday hopes began to dim when they arrived on May 7 to see monster queues rolling out of the airport.

The flight was canceled for “operational reasons” and TUI offered to put Sasha and her children, aged one, two and six, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole for free. But she said the journey to the hotel was not easy – and her family were sweating as they caught a replacement flight the next day.

Sasha, who was carrying seven bags, told BirminghamLive: “Staff told me it was a short journey – but it wasn’t a short journey. And to make matters worse, I had a trolley with seven bags and a stroller.

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“There was not a single member of staff in sight to help us get to the hotel. I was told TUI ground handling agents would help us – but that never happened product.”

Arriving at the hotel, she received an update from the airline. The family’s new flight was scheduled to take off at 1:30 p.m. the next day.

The queue outside Birmingham Airport on May 7.

But Sasha said the replacement plane was “much smaller”. With fewer seats available, she said customers who booked first got priority.

Sasha added: “Early bookings had a guaranteed place. I had only booked ten days before the departure date, so I had to wait to see if there were any no-shows.

The family luggage

“The wait has been very stressful and emotional. I was disgusted by the decision to put a young family in such distress.

“My anxiety was at a fever pitch, but I tried to stay positive. An hour passed and it finally came to the last seats.

“Fortunately, a man in front of us decided to let us take them. His decision meant he had to delay his trip.

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“His kindness was heartwarming. I couldn’t thank him enough.”

Sasha said her family then only had 30 minutes to complete their check-in and clear security. When it appeared they wouldn’t be making the flight, a kind policeman offered to take them quickly to their gate.

Sasha added: “Other families, whom we had met the day before, welcomed us. They were shocked and in disbelief when I explained the trauma we had suffered.

“It was a very traumatic, time-consuming, stressful and emotional experience with TUI.”

Sasha added that she normally enjoys flying with the airline, but was “appalled” by the way her situation was being handled. She said she wanted full compensation.

A TUI spokeswoman told Birminghamlive: “We are sorry to hear about this family’s experience. We can confirm the flight needed to stay overnight in Birmingham while a new plane has been found, in due to operational issues.

“Hotel rooms were provided to the affected customers, who then arrived in Cape Verde on a flight the next day. We understand that the delays are frustrating for customers, and we would like to apologize for the inconvenience and thank them for their patience.”

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