'It's chaos' - Dad's frustration as flight from Norwich is delayed 24 hours

‘It’s chaos’ – Dad’s frustration as flight from Norwich is delayed 24 hours

07:11 PM July 30, 2022

07:13 PM July 30, 2022

A father-of-one has revealed his bitter disappointment at having his flight from Norwich Airport delayed for almost 24 hours with no assurances as to when he and his family will be able to fly to Mallorca.

Alex Molina, 37, his partner Anna and eight-year-old son Oliver, were delighted to start a week’s holiday in Palma on their first overseas jaunt in more than two and a half years.

But instead of relaxing on a beach, a nightmare began for the family, along with dozens of other passengers who were due to fly on TUI flight AP5480 Norwich-Palma, which was due to take off at 7.40pm on Friday July 29. .

This is the latest in a series of delays that have held up TUI travelers from the city for the past few days.

Flight AP5480 Norwich-Palma failed to take off
– Credit: Alex Molina

Norwich Airport’s website confirmed the flight was delayed due to “ongoing technical issues with the aircraft”.

Mr Molina said: “It was total chaos and a real lack of communication.

“I ended up hanging up with TUI customer service after three and a half hours on the phone just because we couldn’t reach.”

Mr Molina, who lives in the city, first found out his flight would be delayed around 5pm on Friday – 30 minutes before he and his family were due to be at the airport.

He then received an email confirming that the flight would continue, but at a later departure time of 10:20 p.m.

Eight-year-old Oliver couldn't wait to leave with his family

Eight-year-old Oliver couldn’t wait to leave with his family
– Credit: Alex Molina

“We were assured he would be leaving that night, so we jumped in a cab and went through the usual check-in and security process,” he said.

“The flight was then pushed back a further two hours at 12:20 a.m. 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 some travelers who had arrived earlier had been there for up to eight hours before having to return home.

Mr Molina said he was in communication with the airport, but it remains unclear when they can board a flight.

Mr Molina praised Norwich Airport for its handling of the situation

Mr Molina praised Norwich Airport for its handling of the situation
– Credit: Alex Molina

But despite the disruption, Mr Molina praised Norwich Airport and its staff for the way they handled things.

“We can’t thank the staff enough – they were fantastic,” he added.

“They gave us a food and drink voucher for the delay and were so apologetic.”

The family had the option of canceling their holiday, but Mr Molina said he had set a Sunday deadline to get to his destination.

He said: “We didn’t buy a vacation package so we can’t get a refund on Airbnb.

“It’s just like money wasted right now.

An email Mr Molina received advising him to go home

An email Mr Molina received advising him to go home
– Credit: Alex Molina

“If it happens to Monday, we have decided to cancel.”

A TUI UK spokesperson said: “We fully understand customer frustration over the delay of flight AP5480 from Norwich to Palma which was scheduled to depart on July 29 and has unfortunately been delayed due to a technical issue. .

“We do everything we can to ensure that customers leave as planned and we know how disappointing delays can be, especially in the rare cases where they are long. We will keep all customers informed through regular communications, while we work. on a new flight plan.

“We would like to apologize 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 to and from Norwich were delayed in recent days due to staff shortages and other operational issues.

This included a TUI flight from Menorca delayed by more than three and a half hours while a departure to Rhodes was also affected.

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