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TUI pilot turns plane around and returns to airport to pick up crying girl ‘left behind’

Daisy Phillipson

Published 
| Last updated 

TUI pilot turns plane around and returns to airport to pick up crying girl ‘left behind’

A TUI pilot turned a family's holiday disaster around - quite literally - by returning to pick up a crying girl who was 'left behind' at the airport.

Adrian Insley had enjoyed a trip to Tenerife with his parents, partner, and their four children, but things took turn when they went to catch their flight home to the UK.

It all went wrong when they made a stop at the Duty Free section.

Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, the 38-year-old dad said: "I am very organised with my passport, I even have a bag for them, but this time my partner said she needs a passport to get something from Duty Free, and then she put the passport in the bag.

"Our flight was delayed and the airport was very busy because there were three flights to the UK.

The Insleys very narrowly missed a Home Alone moment. Credit: BPM Media
The Insleys very narrowly missed a Home Alone moment. Credit: BPM Media

"I am starting to panic because I do not know where it is. And then the realisation set in there. We do not have a passport - we are missing one."

He soon realised it was his seven-year-old daughter's passport, and despite speaking with security personnel to explain the situation, they couldn't let her board the plane without the document.

"So I had to send all my family through, and it is just me and my daughter that were left behind because of my daughter's missing passport," he added.

"So it got a bit hairy because I did not know what to do.

"I have got to find somewhere to stay, I have got to find transport, and I have got to organise for a temporary passport - there is a lot of organising in a very short amount of time."

His daughter was 'emotionally distressed' as she watched the rest of the family board the plane while she waited behind with her dad.

He said: "My children were crying, my partner was crying. The reps on the other planes asked all the passengers to check their bags."

Eventually they managed to find the passport but by this point it was already too late as the plane had left - or so they thought.

Just as the plane was ready to take off, Adrian's mum Sharon Insley was told by one of the staff members to get in touch with her son and the pilot headed back so that the pair could board.

Sharon said: "I was gobsmacked because I have never ever in all my time flying, ever known that they can come back for you."

The family eventually made it back to East Midlands Airport. Credit: BPM Media
The family eventually made it back to East Midlands Airport. Credit: BPM Media

She added: "I have actually tried to thank TUI, but they have only got a portal for complaints.

"When all you hear about the travel industry is doom and gloom, we just wanted to share some exceptional customer service our family encountered over the bank holiday weekend."

A TUI spokesperson told the publication: "We’re pleased that the Insley family were able to travel on their holiday as planned.

"This is just another example of the incredible dedication of TUI colleagues who are doing everything they can to get customers away on their holidays.

"We appreciate all of our teams who continue to demonstrate their hard-work and commitment to TUI and its customers."

Featured Image Credit: BPM Media/Shutterstock

Topics: Parenting, UK News, Travel

Daisy Phillipson
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