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Police Called To Rescue TUI Passengers And Pilot After Being 'Abandoned' At Airport

Poppy Bilderbeck

Published 
| Last updated 

Police Called To Rescue TUI Passengers And Pilot After Being 'Abandoned' At Airport

Featured Image Credit: Adam Wyczalkowski

Police had to be called after a plane and its passengers were left stranded for hours.

Manchester Airport has been the scene of carnage in recent days, with holidaymakers left queueing for airport security all the way into the car park as well as severe delays and pilots having to step up to perform roles outside of their remit.

On Sunday, 29 May, police were called to a runway at Manchester Airport to help escort TUI passengers off the plane after they had been left 'abandoned'.

Passengers were left 'abandoned' on the runway at Manchester Airport on Sunday. Credit: Alamy
Passengers were left 'abandoned' on the runway at Manchester Airport on Sunday. Credit: Alamy

The TOM2106 flight was set to go to Tenerife. However, it was hit with a delay. Hundreds of families were subsequently left stuck on the plane for a total of three hours.

One passenger on board, 22-year-old Adam Wyczalkowski, explained how the flight had been expected to leave at 5:50pm but that passengers didn't board until 'around 7:00pm'.

He told MEN: "We were told the bags would need to be loaded by Swissport, but then we heard they had only half loaded them onto the aircraft.

"We were then told all the staff had then disappeared, and the captain told us all that due to crew hour regulations, the flight might get cancelled in the end.

"Eventually they made another announcement that there had been no communication about us getting off the plane because there were no staff available to let us off."

In footage from the scene, the pilot of the plane can be heard saying, 'Swissport have abandoned us'.

Wyczalkowski noted how 'frustrated and angry' passengers were also left, particularly as many families were 'excited to go away for half-term'.

He said: "It is so hot and there is no air con on and we were only offered a complimentary drink.

"There was not a single member of staff in sight, so the captain informed us they will be calling the police in order to let us disembark."

The pilot of the TUI flight accused Swissport of having 'abandoned' the plane and its passengers. Credit: Alamy
The pilot of the TUI flight accused Swissport of having 'abandoned' the plane and its passengers. Credit: Alamy

TUI later stated that 'operational issues' were the cause of such delays.

The travel agency company said passengers were given a new flight the next day, Monday, 31 May, and were supplied with hotels overnight.

A TUI spokesperson told the MEN: "We’d like to apologise to customers travelling on flight TOM2106 from Manchester to Tenerife on Monday 30 May which was unfortunately delayed due to operational issues. We were in contact with affected customers, offered overnight accommodation and meals where needed, and advised them of their new departure time as soon as we could. This flight is now due to depart this evening.

"The May half-term holidays are always an incredibly busy period with many customers looking to get away, and this year is no different. We’d like to apologise again for the inconvenience caused and we thank customers for their understanding and patience during this time."

TUI said 'operational issues' caused the delays. Credit: Alamy
TUI said 'operational issues' caused the delays. Credit: Alamy

The influx in flights being taken since coronavirus restrictions ceased was noted by a Swissport spokesperson as having 'exacerbat[ed] resource challenges'.

However, they apologised for the aviation company's 'part in any delays'.

They said in a statement to the MEN: "While the return in flight volumes after the serious impact of the pandemic is undoubtedly a positive development, it is also exacerbating resource challenges across the aviation industry, including at Swissport, especially at a busy period of holiday travel. We are very sorry for our part in any delays and disruption passengers have experienced.

"We’re doing everything we can to address our role in meeting our resource challenges, welcoming over 2,000 new colleagues since the start of the year, and we continue to work with our partners to identify contingency measures and improve baggage and aircraft turnaround times."

Manchester Airport Group (MAG) also released a statement noting there were 'temporary staffing shortages' within TUI and Swissport and that it had been in 'extensive discussions' with the companies since the incident.

LADbible has contacted TUI for comment.

Topics: UK News, Travel

Poppy Bilderbeck
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