Police called tourists at the airport to tell them their TUI holidays had been cancelled

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This video shows the moment the police were called in to tell disgruntled TUI customers waiting for their flight that their holiday was canceled and they had to go home.

Jayesh Patel was among hundreds of passengers who waited eight hours at Manchester Airport for their flight to Greece before being told at the last minute they were dead.

He said there was anger and tears when two police officers arrived at the gate to read a statement from TUI shortly after they began receiving texts telling them their package breaks had been cancelled.

He filmed the extraordinary moment when the police told holidaymakers that they were not leaving and had to go home.

He told the BBC: “The worst part was there was no Tui staff to help.

“And then two police officers came and read a statement telling us how we were going to leave the airport.

“As the plane hadn’t arrived from anywhere, our flight wasn’t listed at any of the baggage carousels so we didn’t know where to wait – people were clearly upset and the children were crying.

“We then had to wait a few more hours and by that point we had spent the whole day at the airport and just wanted to leave.”

Jayesh was due to travel to Kos from Manchester Airport’s Terminal 2 on May 29 with his wife and their three children, aged nine, 12 and 13.

Extraordinary footage shows police officers arriving at the gate to deliver the message.

Extraordinary footage shows police officers arriving at the gate to deliver the message.

He said the flight was delayed by more than four hours when they got the bad news.

“The airport was understaffed, many outlets ran out of food or closed at 6 p.m.,” he said.

“We were called to the gate for the 7pm start – four hours late. There was no staff.

“People were very upset – some went on honeymoons. And then we all got text messages that the flight has now been canceled and because it was a package deal the entire holiday has been cancelled.

Jayesh said the experience was “very upsetting” for his children. He said Tui had offered customers £200 a person for another break but he couldn’t trust them after being treated “so appallingly”.

Freya Powell cries of ‘exhaustion’ from waiting in Cyprus for a flight home after Tui canceled her flights twice (Image: SWNS)
Staff shortages have sparked nightmarish queues at UK airports (Image: SWNS)

It comes after a mother told how her little girl was left “exhausted and in tears”. after TUI twice canceled their flights home from Cyprus.

Hundreds of other flights have been canceled as staff shortages trigger nightmarish queues at UK airports.

Over the weekend, airports were described as being in “total chaos” as some missed flights or stayed overnight in terminals.

Unite, which represents tens of thousands of air transport workers, claims delays at most major airports “will be repeated during the mid-term holidays and will be worse over the summer holidays”.

Secretary-General Sharon Graham said: “During the pandemic, as airlines and others in aviation shed jobs to boost corporate profits, we warned that this corporate greed would wreak havoc in the industry.

“The consequence of mass layoffs is now a chronic shortage of staff across the board. Aviation bosses have to deal with the public. This is a crisis of their formation.

“We are determined that workers will not pay for this crisis. Current wages and conditions in the industry are so bad that workers are voting with their feet. It can only be solved through higher wages and better working conditions for employees. Unite is determined to fight for it.”

Rory Boland, the travel editor for consumer group What? said the government needed to step in to ensure airlines stop selling flights “that they actually can’t offer”.

However, ministers are reportedly blaming the airlines for getting themselves into the mess.

A Government source told The Times: “The simple fact is that airlines and airports have been overstaffing during the pandemic, ignoring the fact that billions of dollars in government aid – including furloughs – were intended to protect those very jobs.

“Operators are now struggling to meet increasingly busy schedules as we head towards the first Covid-free summer since 2019 – a fully predictable surge in bookings that should be properly prepared for.

‘The responsibility for maintaining adequate staffing levels lies with the airlines and airports themselves. Not only are they causing great frustration among their customers, they are missing out on the benefits of the strong recovery in outbound travel.’

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Justin Scacco

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