Help....TUI are refusing to pay

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Apr 10, 2018
Complaint & Claim Booking Reference: xxxxxxxFlight No: TOM6xxxDate: 03/03/2018 3rd March 2018 - Checked in at Cardiff Airport and advised there would be an approximate 45 minute delay. After several delays we boarded, pushed back and then sat on the apron for approx. 25 minutes. The Captain then announced there was a problem with the aircraft and that we would be returning to the gate. We were told to stay on the aircraft while an engineer attends to assess the situation. Approximately 50 minutes later the Captain advised the aircraft was faulty and that a part from Manchester had to be brought to Cardiff and that we were to return to the departure lounge. We remained in the departure lounge for several hours with no updates. We were provided with food and refreshments vouchers. Late in the evening we were told that the part had not arrived and that the flight had been cancelled because the crews duty time had now expired. Late in the evening Anne Marie Mallon, Swissport, told us that the flight had been cancelled because the crew duty time had now expired and the part had not arrived. We were told to go home and to return the following morning at 4am for a 6am departure. She also stated that accommodation would not be provided. She was advised by the passengers that this was incorrect and we asked to speak to a TUI Rep. We were told there wasn’t one on site. When asked what we were to do, she stated that we had to sleep in the arrivals lounge on the floor. It was freezing cold, there were elderly and disabled passengers, but when asked what we were to do she just shrugged her shoulders in a dismissive manner, and told we couldn’t stay on the departure lounge side of the airport because of the shops. We were also told that the airport would be closing and there would not be any hot food or drinks until it re-opened in the morning. We were then told to collect our luggage and make our way to the arrivals lounge, which we did. Whilst doing so several passengers including my wife contacted TUI to express our disgust at the way we were being treated, and that arrangements had to be made for accommodation for the night. When we arrived in the arrivals lounge we were met by Susan from Swissport, who advised us that hotels were being sourced for us to go to, and that we would be collected at 3.30am the following day from the hotel, 4th March to be brought back to the airport for a 6am departure. By the time we got to our hotel, it was approximately 10pm, no food was available apart from a light snack which we had to purchase ourselves. We were collected at 3.30am on Sunday 4th March and taken back to the airport for an anticipated 6am departure after approx. 3 hours sleep. Upon arrival we checked in and were met by a TUI rep – Trish – who I understand had travelled down from Manchester through the night because a local rep wasn’t available at Cardiff Airport. Trish advised us that the anticipated departure time had been delayed because they were having trouble sourcing a crew for the flight….surely this should have been completed during the night…. We were also assured that the aircraft was prepped and ready to go once the crew had arrived. We waited, and waited, and waited for many more hours. We were then told that they were missing one flight attendant. They needed four for this flight. The flight crew and three were now waiting for a fourth crew member, but we assured the aircraft was still there waiting for us. Late in the morning, our aircraft was used to fly other passengers to Alicante, those not booked on the cruise. We were not updated in relation to this at the time, we assumed that it was a different aircraft having being previously assured our aircraft was still waiting for a fresh crew. We were not told at any time following this flight, that our aircraft was no longer available. The excuse was still, that we were waiting for a crew member….an out and out LIE!!!! We then had to endure further delays. We were in contact with our son in Norway who found out from your duty office that the flight had been cancelled sometime before the rep was told. I went up to her to advise her of this. She made a phone call and was very embarrassed by this situation. We were then told that our flight had been cancelled due to operational reasons and that the Cruise ship Captain had made the decision not to wait any longer. We were then told that we had several options one of which was to fly from Gatwick the following day. We decided to take the option to be taken to Gatwick airport and flown out the following day, 5th March to meet the ship at Funchal, Madeira. We had not been supplied with any refreshments vouchers since breakfast but were told to collect our luggage…again, go to the restaurant in the arrivals lounge and purchase a meal. We were told to retain all receipts so that we could claim back off TUI on our return. Once arrivals side, it seems that the TUI rep didn’t want anymore to do with us. She was nowhere to be found and did not keep us updated, she remained in the departure for several hours. We didn’t know the arrangements for transfer from Cardiff to Gatwick, flight details, or transfer details from the hotel in Gatwick to the airport. My wife made several phone calls to the enquiry/duty number provided and I also made several phone calls to try to establish what was happening, but no one seemed to know what was going on. It was extremely frustrating and very poor customer service. I again managed to speak with Susan from Swissport, in the arrivals area and she made arrangements for Trish the rep to speak with us, but this took a further 40 minutes. Upon arrival she was unable to assist further, apart from saying that arrangements were in hand. Several hours went by and still no news….so more phone calls to TUI, who also knew nothing….very worrying!! The arrivals lounge was very cold and uncomfortable. This has led to my wife having back pain for the entirety of the holiday and is also still suffering to date. Eventually we were bussed to Gatwick, however before we left I asked the rep which hotel we were going to and she still didn’t know, nor did she know the bus company. Passengers were actually in the car part asking bus drivers as they arrived if they were the coach taking us to Gatwick. Prior to departure from Cardiff, we eventually obtained our new flight information for the following morning. Upon arrival at the Premier Inn, Manor Royal, Gatwick, they were unaware of our arrival, but managed to find rooms for all passengers. This process took a further 30 minutes because of the lack of information from TUI to the hotel. The receptionist was very patient and helpful. When asked what arrangements had been made to collect us and take us to the airport, we were told we had to make our own way there and consequently booked taxis for the following morning. Were collected at 4am and taken to the airport after 4 hours sleep. Flight No: TOM4134Date: 05/03/2018 Upon arrival at Gatwick Airport we were given a letter from TUI apologising for the delay due to the weather at Cardiff Airport. This is totally incorrect. The problem was a fault with the aircraft and the incompetent way that TUI then mishandled the ensuing situation. I appreciate that problems occur, but to be continuously be provided with false information, is unforgivable. Eventually got to the ship on the 5th March, but spent most of the first day resting and trying to recover from the appalling trip down. At this point over the last three days we had managed only 7 hours sleep and were very tired and weary, spoiling yet another day of our holiday. One couple were provided with a Suite upgrade, yet no other couples were afforded this option. What standard was applied to this decision? On the second day of our cruise we received a letter from the Team at Marella offering us £233.72 per person for the inconvenience suffered so far. Having flown many times with Thomson/TUI over the years with a young family to Florida and now on our own on cruises, I consider this sum an insult. Once recovered, the rest of the holiday was marvellous. The captain and his crew looked after us very well. I would like to highlight three members of the crew who were particularly good: Roberto – Restaurant ServerNatalia – Restaurant ServerMJ – Cabin Steward The return flight was delayed because the handling agent lost the load sheets, and because of an ill passenger. I accept this and this will not form part of my claim. My claim: I wish to claim the following: Refund for our two booked seats on the Outbound Journey The following food and drink that we had to purchase: £11.69 – EAT North Terminal Airside £2.85 – Coffee – North Terminal£5.40 – Coffee – North Terminal £10.00 - Many Phone Call from both mine and my wives phone £12.00 - Taxi fare from Hotel to Gatwick Airport (Receipts retained) 3 days loss of our holiday 3 days loss of drinks package £400 compensation per person for flight delays as per the legislation – Flights between 1500 and 3500 kms. Having been a long - standing customer with TUI, I was extremely disappointed with the level of customer service, and the inaccurate information provided by your company. In fact some of it was profoundly untrue. Apart from the items above which we are entitled to, I will also expect TUI to provide a reasonable level of compensation for the way we were treated by TUI on this occasion. If you want us to remain TUI customers then I will expect this matter to be settled in a timely fashion, and to our satisfaction. Please don’t try to fob me off with a gesture of good will, as was suggested by the letter offering us £233.72. This was not acceptable at the time and is still not acceptable now. If this situation had been handled better by TUI, I would not be writing this letter to you. However, I’ve not seen this level of incompetence and untruths in a company in the whole 50 years I have been travelling. You should be ashamed of the way this matter was handled. Whilst on holiday I was made aware of another family that had suffered a similar situation by TUI. I have attached the link to the news article: This family lives approx. 5 miles from me, so this is obviously not an unusual occurrence. This is your chance to redeem yourself…Please don’t let yourself down again.

I need to know where I stand with this claim, at present they are refusing to pay anything.
Last edited by a moderator:
Apr 10, 2017
I'm sorry your trip got off to such a bad start. Was the airfare purchased thru the cruise line? What was the official reason given for the flight delays and cancellations? You could be entitled to compensation under EU 261. Did you have any travel insurance?

Did you send that letter to anyone or have you just posted it here first?
Likes: jsn55
Apr 10, 2018

Thank you for your reply.

The airfare was purchased as part of a package, flights and cruise together.

The initial reason was a fault on the aircraft, on the second occasion it was a crewing problem.

I have travel insurance.

Several emails and responses have been sent and received to the company concerned, but they have refused to compensate us as per my original email above.


Jul 27, 2016
Honestly, that email is very difficult to read, and far too long. You need to trim it down radically, into bullet points, with just the facts (keep emotion, like "an out and out LIE!!!!" out of it), and state exactly what you want.

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
What was the insurance companies reason for declining? They should be covering but you need to provide proof of the cancellation.

You can appeal the declination and we can help you with wording but we need the entire story of why they declined and the documentation you sent.

And you must use paragraphs- you letter was very hard to read and if we can’t read it neither can the insurance company.


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
I was unable to get through your narrative completely ... if you purchased air through the cruiseline, your first step would be to contact them. If you stated that, please forgive me. Unfortunately, situations like yours happen every day, so boil down the story to a couple of paragraphs so that it has a chance of being read. With patience and persistence you'll find justice.


Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
I guess in trying to read the story I completely missed that The Travel insurance claim had been declined :(
I’ll go back and try again but honestly if the people here who actually want to help you have trouble reading your story due to the length and unnecessary additional info..... imagine an airline or travel insurance employee with several hundred letters on their desk is going to view it. Your letter will go into the round can as they move onto the next complaint that is two paragraphs long!

Please it is extremely important that your narrative be short, factual, devoid of personal feelings and accusations and easy to read.