TUI passengers offered “advice” after landing
TUI passengers feared they “wouldn’t see their families again” when a “student pilot” was forced to land during a snowstorm.
The flight from Tenerife was originally scheduled to land at Manchester Airport at 8pm on March 9th.
However, due to extreme weather conditions, he was forced to divert to East Midlands Airport near Nottingham.
Extreme turbulence forced passengers to ‘scream and cry’ as Storm Larissa hit the UK.
TUI has now emailed passengers and offered free advice to help with in-flight trauma.
Gareth Salter, who was on board, said: “People were panicking, babies were crying, women were crying. There were some young girls behind us in floods of tears.
“To be honest, I’ve said my prayers. I didn’t think I would see my family again. It was just awful.’
Storm Larissa had caused heavy snowfall and blizzard-like conditions across much of northern England.
Flights were delayed at Manchester Airport while drivers were left stranded on busy roads such as the M62.
Passengers said they were not told they had been diverted until they landed.
Gareth said: “We knew from the news the weather was going to be bad, but once we started to land it just didn’t feel right. There were cross winds and we were thrown back and forth in the turbulence.
“As soon as we landed I knew it wasn’t Manchester. Then they came on the speaker and said we were in East Midlands and that it was a trainee pilot and asked us to smack him for landing us safely.
“People were clapping because they were still in shock.”
Gareth claims passengers have been abandoned at East Midlands Airport and are having to find their own hotels and way home.
But TUI denies these claims and says transfers have been arranged to take passengers to Manchester Airport.
The travel company says passengers were offered the choice of making their own way home and reclaiming costs, or were offered accommodation that was unsafe to travel.
Gareth said he and his partner got a hotel for the night and caught the 4pm train to Manchester the next day.
“It was blizzard conditions outside. The whole place was in an uproar,’ he said.
“Even Greggs stayed open and baked another batch of food for everyone. There was a two to three hour wait at the taxi rank, but given the weather, everyone should have been accommodated in a hotel.
“It was a scary experience at first, then became more and more bizarre as time went on.”
A TUI spokesman said: “We can confirm that TOM2477 from Tenerife to Manchester Airport was diverted to East Midlands Airport on 9 March due to adverse weather conditions during the return flight to Manchester.
“Customers arrived safely at East Midlands Airport and were made aware of the diversion on arrival.
“Transfers were organized to bring customers back to Manchester Airport and accommodation was provided where required. Customers received regular updates throughout the evening.
“We apologize for any inconvenience and thank our customers for their patience and understanding. The safety of our customers and crew is our top priority.
“We want to reassure our customers that cases of this nature are rare.
“TUI offered advice to everyone on the plane.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/17/tui-plane-passengers-offered-counselling-after-landing-18461334/ TUI passengers offered "advice" after landing