Around 34,000 TUI passengers hoping to fly from Manchester Airport over the next month will have their holiday plans dashed.
The travel operator has reduced a number of flights leaving the airport to deal with staff shortages and “ongoing disruption”. TUI says it has taken the drastic measure, which will decimate the mid-term and summer plans of around 34,000 people, in a bid to help resolve the ‘problems’ that have caused flight delays, cancellations and baggage problems in recent days.
TUI declined to respond to our sister newspaper, the Manchester Evening News, in its requests for a list of affected services, but confirmed that it will contact all affected customers by text or email by the end of the day. (Tuesday May 31). ).
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Manchester Airport, meanwhile, blamed staff shortages at TUI and Swissport operations, a problem they say is eating away at the travel industry more broadly. However, Manchester Airport, which last month issued a sincere apology for its staffing crisis, is believed to be the only hub in the country affected by the series of cancellations planned by TUI, cutting six flights a day, 186 flights in total, between May 31 and June 30.
Passengers due to fly over the “coming days” were notified last night, while others will be notified “later today”, TUI said. The decision comes amid continued stories from travelers of missing luggage, canceled holidays via text messages and gigantic flight delays.
Police were called in on Saturday to tell “hundreds” of people waiting at the gate after an eight-hour delay that their flight to Kos in Greece had been cancelled. TUI said in an earlier statement that the “sudden increase” in the number of people going on holiday combined with “various operational and supply chain issues” had impacted a “small number of flights”.
Meanwhile, Manchester Airport bosses had pledged to work with struggling airlines and other handling agents in an urgent recruitment drive, to address persistent passenger issues . However, TUI has now made the decision to remove flights from its schedule in an effort to manage the crisis.
In a statement released on Tuesday, TUI said: “ We would like to apologize to our customers who have experienced flight delays and cancellations in recent days and understand that many of our customers have been looking forward to their vacations with us for a long time.
“Due to the amount of ongoing disruption to our operations at Manchester Airport, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel six flights per day (43 flights per week), from Tuesday 31 May to Thursday 30 June. All other UK airports are expected to operate as normal.
“We understand how disappointing this will be for those affected; however, we believe this is necessary to provide stability and better customer service at Manchester Airport. We will continue to work closely with all of our airport partners and suppliers so that we can provide the best possible holiday experience for our customers.
They said affected customers would receive a full refund for their holiday as well as an “additional gesture of goodwill”. Customers affected within the next 14 days will also receive information on how to claim compensation in accordance with the regulations.
They added: “We would like to reassure our customers that cancellations of this nature are extremely rare and would like to thank them for their patience and understanding.”
A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “Over the past few days, TUI and its designated station handler, Swissport, have experienced significant challenges with their check-in and baggage claim operations at Manchester Airport. Manchester Airport. From extensive discussions with the management teams of TUI and Swissport, it is clear that they are experiencing temporary staff shortages, like other aviation and travel companies.
“Given these challenges, we understand TUI’s difficult decision to cancel a number of services over the next month, although we are obviously disappointed to see passenger plans disrupted in this way. We will continue to work with TUI, Swissport and other partners to provide passengers with the best possible service as the travel industry rebuilds at full strength after the pandemic.
“In the meantime, we continue to advise passengers to arrive three hours before their flight and be as prepared as possible for their journey through the airport.”