LONDON – TUI UK’s Managing Director Andrew Flintham has apologized to customers for the travel chaos that has been experienced, blaming the ecosystem of the sector.
The Full Letter…
The full letter reads:
In recent weeks, you will have read in the news, or seen on social media, that the travel industry as a whole has been affected by delays and cancellations. I know that our customers work hard for their valuable time away, which is why we always do everything in our power to deliver a fantastic holiday.Andrew Flintham, Managing Director of TUI UK
TUI holidays rely on a complex ecosystem of services. This includes our own pilots and cabin crew, as well as operational partners that cover things like check-in, baggage, and catering. Alongside that, we work closely with air traffic control and airport security teams. Our planes cannot take to the skies when the ecosystem is not working as it should be.
Over the first weekend of the May half term, the ecosystem experienced capacity issues that impacted some of our customers. In some instances, customers were subject to delays and – in rare cases – cancellations. These customers had a poor experience – for that, and the distress caused by the cancellations, I apologize.
I would like to assure you that we have learned from what happened, and we’re working closely with our partners to address the issues that caused the delays and cancellations. I’d also like to reassure you that situations like this are rare – this week, the vast majority of our flights have operated normally, and over 200,000 customers took off to enjoy their TUI holiday as planned. Our teams have been supporting customers who were affected in finding alternative holidays and processing any refunds due. And I can assure you that TUI would never leave you stranded overseas.
I hope this gives you the confidence to look forward to your holiday with TUI this summer, or the next time you travel with us. We can’t wait to see you soon.
TUI Chaos at Manchester…
Manchester Airport is where TUI has had the most chaos at present. Earlier this month, the airline announced it would cancel 43 flights per week until the end of June in a bid to ease pressure at the airport.
TUI is one of many airlines in the UK that are having to cancel flights as a result of such pressures, with TUI’s main issue at Manchester being with the ground handling agents.
There have been stories swirling around on social media that the issue with ground handlers is that bad, that passengers have recorded pilots getting out of the cockpit and loading luggage themselves.
It remains clear that Flintham remains confident that the rest of the Summer schedule will operate as normal, which is good news given the amount of chaos that has taken place.
However, this may be an optimistic view, especially with easyJet, in particular, saying that the worst hasn’t started yet, so it is a mixed bag across the UK airline industry at present.
All we can do in the meantime is sit back and wait to see whether the situation worsens, or whether it is on an airline-by-airline case-by-case basis.