TUI: Passengers furious after flight disruption


Travellers from across Wales have spoken about their anger after their flights were cancelled by travel giant TUI.

Passengers heading to and from Cardiff were among UK holidaymakers left furious as dozens of flights were cancelled amid misery at UK airports.

TUI said those affected would receive refunds within 14 days.

Among those hit was Huw Davies, who was hoping to take his family, including his ill daughter, to Tenerife.

Mr Davies, of Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly county, said the trip was going to be special because of his daughter’s poor health.

He said they were put on the plane but soon were told to leave.

He said: “We were taken into the terminal building again, and left in the upstairs for more than an hour with no-one to sort us out, and my daughter was on a mobility scooter.

“Nobody helped at all.”

  • Cancelled flights: Tui customers angry over handling of travel misery
  • What are my rights if my flight is cancelled?
  • Why are flights being cancelled?

Mr Davies said he was told someone from TUI was coming, but he ended up speaking to a woman from another travel firm.

“The information was so scarce and [the children] were crying, crying really, really bad,” he said.

“It was unbearable for the kids, they were upset, inconsolable really, you know it’s such a disaster.”

Tom Selway of Cardiff was left stranded after his flight from Tenerife to Cardiff was cancelled.

He told BBC Radio Wales Drive: “We were due to fly back yesterday.

“In the morning we found out our flight had been delayed by two hours, but when we got to the airport we had a text, and the team told us that our flight had been cancelled entirely and that we’d have to wait at the airport until further notice.

“Obviously panic had set in as we were expecting to be back in Cardiff today and back to work.

“We have a little boy with us who’s only four and is obviously very confused.”

Mr Selway managed to get a flight on Wednesday.

“I will say there have been a lot of passengers who have been dissatisfied with the service and I understand. People have other commitments and jobs to get back to.”

Nadine Marshall flew to Tenerife on Monday and was due to meet family on Tuesday.

She said: “They got as far as sitting on the tarmac at Cardiff Airport on their flight, when they had an interruption from the pilot to say that there was a problem with the engine and that a part had to be found.

“All of the passengers were sat on the tarmac for over an hour waiting for this part.

“The next message they heard from the pilot was that everybody would have to disembark because there was a problem with TUI.

“As people put their phones on, various people had all received the same generic email from TUI announcing that due to circumstances beyond their control, the whole holiday was cancelled.”

The passengers were escorted back through arrivals, she said.

“We had 12 family members which included elderly parents and children,” she said.

“There was upset. There was anger. There was a lot of confusion.”

No-one from TUI was there, leaving everyone to phone the firm, said Ms Marshall.

“Nobody could get any answers really. They spent most of the day at Cardiff Airport, only to return home yesterday.”

She said: “I feel upset for the children. To hear them crying and trying to explain why they couldn’t go on holiday. They’ve had all that build up.

“I’m angry with TUI. I’m worried as well because I don’t know what the knock-on effect will be for us trying to get back to the UK.”

Mountain biker Craig Galeozzie, of Llantwit Fardre, Rhondda Cynon Taf, was hoping to ride down Tenerife’s Mt Teide volcano

“It’s the highlight of my mountain biking year and I was planning on riding it this week,” Mr Galeozzie, who works in the biotech industry, said.

The flight, he said, was due to depart at 13:20 BST but was delayed until 14:30 BST.

“After almost two hours of waiting on the plane, we were informed via text, before the cabin staff even told us, that the flight was indeed cancelled,” he said.

“There were no alternative options, no reserve flight, and if you had a holiday booked this was also cancelled.”

He said children were getting upset as they left the plane.

Mr Galeozzie was going away following the death of a family member.

“This holiday was really important to me, and I was looking forward to some time to reflect on what has been a sad and difficult period,” he said.

Joseph Powell, from Cardiff, and his girlfriend Laura were due to fly back from Kefalonia on Sunday but delays meant they did not get back to the UK until Tuesday.

Mr Powell was then due to fly to Poland to watch the football match against Wales.

As there was so little time between getting back to Britain and his flight to Poland he opted not to go.

“I’d been awake for 24 hours, I just decided to call it a day,” he said.

“It’s really frustrating, still haven’t got any bags and we’ll get them by Friday. It’s just been an absolute nightmare.”

Cardiff Airport said it was told by TUI Tuesday’s flight to Tenerife was cancelled due to a safety issue with the aircraft.

Chief executive Spencer Birns said: “We are hugely disappointed that a number of the TUI flights, that the operator planned to fly from Cardiff in the last week were disrupted and that has had a big impact on those passengers.

“We know customers are really looking forward to their trips and it is heartbreaking for them all when the disruption like this takes place.”

TUI apologised to customers caught up in the problems and said delays and cancellations were rare.

It said the May half-term holidays were always busy and it understood travellers would have have been looking forward to their holidays for a long time.

“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.”

It said its teams had been “working tirelessly to support affected customers”.

“We continue to work closely with our airport partners to monitor the situation and provide the best possible holiday experience for our customers,” a spokesman said.

About the author

Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


Get in touch

Content and images available on this website is supplied by contributors. As such we do not hold or accept liability for the content, views or references used. For any complaints please contact Use of this website signifies your agreement to our terms of use. We do our best to ensure that all information on the Website is accurate. If you find any inaccurate information on the Website please us know by sending an email to and we will correct it, where we agree, as soon as practicable. We do not accept liability for any user-generated or user submitted content – if there are any copyright violations please notify us at – any media used will be removed providing proof of content ownership can be provided. For any DMCA requests under the digital millennium copyright act
Please contact: with the subject DMCA Request.