7:11 PM July 30, 2022
7:13 PM July 30, 2022
A father-of-one has revealed his bitter disappointment at having his flight from Norwich Airport delayed by almost 24 hours with no assurance as to when he and his family can jet off to Majorca.
Alex Molina, 37, partner Anna and eight-year-old son Oliver had been excited to begin a week-long holiday in Palma in their first getaway abroad in more than two and a half years.
But instead of relaxing on a beach, a nightmare has begun for the family, along with dozens of other passengers who were due to fly on TUI’s AP5480 Norwich to Palma flight, which had been scheduled to take off at 7.40pm on Friday, July 29 .
It is the latest in a series of delays which have held up TUI travelers flying from the city in recent days.
Norwich Airport’s website confirmed the flight had been delayed due to “ongoing technical problems with the aircraft”.
Mr Molina said: “It’s been complete chaos and a real lack of communication.
“I ended up hanging up with TUI’s customer service after three and a half hours on the phone to them just because we couldn’t get through.”
Mr Molina, who lives in the city, first found out his flight would be delayed at about 5pm on Friday – 30 minutes before he and his family were due to head for the airport.
He later had an email to confirm the flight would still be going but at a later 10.20pm departure time.
“We were assured it would be leaving that night so we jumped in a taxi and went through the usual process of check-ins and security,” he said.
“The flight then got pushed back another two hours to 12.20am before the announcer confirmed the flight would not be leaving after all.”
The family were left waiting at the airport for four hours – but Mr Molina said that some travelers who had arrived earlier had been there for up to eight hours before having to return home.
Mr Molina said he has been in communication with the airport but the situation still remains unclear as to when they can board a flight.
But despite the disruption, Mr Molina praised Norwich Airport and its staff for the way they’ve handled things.
“We can’t thank the staff enough – they’ve been fantastic,” he added.
“They offered us a food and drink voucher for the delay and were so apologetic.”
The family have been given an option to cancel their holiday but Mr Molina said they’ve set a Sunday deadline to get to their destination.
He said: “We didn’t purchase a package holiday so we can’t get a refund on the Airbnb.
“It just feels like money down the drain at the moment.
“If it gets to Monday, we’ve decided we’ll cancel.”
A TUI UK spokesman said: “We fully understand customers’ frustration due to the delay of flight AP5480 from Norwich to Palma scheduled to depart on July 29 which was unfortunately delayed due to a technical issue.
“We do everything we can to get customers away as planned and we know how disappointing delays are, particularly on the rare occasion that they are lengthy. We will keep all customers updated with regular communication, while we work through a new flight plan.
“We’d like to apologise to all customers for the inconvenience and thank them for their patience and understanding at this time.”
It comes after a number of TUI flights in and out of Norwich have been delayed in recent days due to staff shortages and other operational issues.
This included a TUI flight from Menorca being delayed by more than three-and-a-half-hours while a departure to Rhodes was also affected.