Ryan and Kimberly Ramsay knew that there had been delays in airports across the UK in recent months so were not expecting their travel home to Scotland to be seamless - but they were not ready for a 36 hour travel day.
Ryan, aged 30, from Edinburgh, said: “It was carnage from start to finish. I was so stressed that I have had to phone in sick today - I feel drained and broken. You go on holiday to recharge and relax but we feel that was taken away from us.”
The pair went to the Antalya airport at 6pm to catch their original flight on Saturday, May 28.
But after waiting an hour it was announced that the flight was cancelled and that they would be put up in a hotel for the night.
“It was all very last minute,” Ryan said. “The staff on the plane told us they only had 20 minutes’ notice before we boarded.
“There was no hot food, cleaning had not taken place. But everyone on board was trying their best to keep in good spirits. The problems really started when we landed in Manchester four hours later.”
Unfortunately for Ryan and Kimberly it took one and a half hours for the luggage to arrive at the airport off the aeroplane.
“The belt went for half an hour and about a quarter of the bags had come through and then it just stopped,” he continued.
“There were no staff members around to turn it back on.”
The issues didn’t end here as when the couple finally found their bags they were expecting to be ushered onto a coach taking them back to Glasgow - where their car was parked pre-holiday.
“We were told that TUI did book coaches to Glasgow, but they did so for the wrong date,” he said. “We couldn’t believe it.
“They gave us £10 food vouchers but the only place open was the Starbucks which had run out of food. There were kids on that flight who had not had a proper meal in 12 hours.
“One couple decided to take their baby to A and E because they had run out of formula during the ordeal and were worried about its health. No one had any idea what was going on and there were no TUI staff to ask.”
At 9.30pm on Sunday, May 29 they were told they could spend the night in a hotel in Manchester or take a taxi back to Glasgow.
“We were so frustrated and stressed we just wanted to get home,” Ryan said. “So we paid £787 for a taxi which took three and a half hours to get us back.”
TUI will refund the price of the taxi but Ryan said they should be doing more. “We expected a travel day of about eight to 10 hours,” he said. “Never could we have imagined it would be 36.”
Ryan will be making a complaint about his experience but he also has this advice for anyone travelling over the busy half term period.
“I think we were a bit complacent thinking everything would be back to normal post-covid,” he said. “But we were wrong - I would be very wary of booking anything right now and if you do take supplies in case this happens to you.”
A spokesperson for TUI said: “We’d like to apologise to customers travelling on flight TOM655 from Antalya to Glasgow on Saturday 28 May which was unfortunately delayed due to operational issues. All impacted customers were offered overnight accommodation and were provided with meals while we worked through a new flight plan. We were in regular contact with customers, and advised them of their new departure time as soon as we could. The flight arrived in Manchester on Sunday 29 May at 5pm local time. We provided transport to Glasgow for all customers onboard.”