Dad slams TUI as family holiday ruined after 'horrendous' Manchester Airport ordeal

David Barnes with his wife Debbie Barnes next to a beach in Menorca
-Credit: (Image: David Barnes)

A dad's 50th birthday getaway turned into a nightmare when his family was left without their bags following the power outage at Manchester Airport.

The Barnes family, including David, his wife Debbie, and their son Riley, faced a series of setbacks after arriving at Manchester Airport on Sunday, June 23 for a trip to Menorca. Terminals 1 and 2 experienced significant disruptions with flights being cancelled or delayed due to a power failure.

Despite the hold-ups, the family boarded their flight only to be informed by the pilot that not all luggage had been loaded. To their dismay, upon landing in Spain, they discovered that only prams and buggies were on board.

TUI has stated that passengers were given the option to disembark if they preferred, but David contends he wasn't aware of any such choice.

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Speaking to the Echo, the dad expressed his frustration: "They have sent us on our holidays with 97 other people on the plane and no luggage. On the plane the pilot has told us that there's some luggage on the plane but when we've rang they've told us our luggage is still in Manchester. We had no option to get off the plane."

He also highlighted the distress this situation caused, especially for his autistic son Riley: "My son is autistic and he's been having a meltdown. The TUI staff don't know anything over here. My son can't wear certain fabrics or textures, he hates it.

"This is my 50th birthday holiday and it's been ruined. The experience at Manchester Airport was horrendous and now we don't have our luggage or medication that my son needs.

"I'm devastated. I feel like crying my eyes out but I have to stay strong. It's ruined my whole experience of going away. No-one knows what's going on, the TUI reps are clueless."

TUI has confirmed that David and his family are set to receive £150 per person as compensation for the baggage mishap. However, the airline refrained from further comments regarding allegations that passengers were not offered the option to remain at Manchester Airport, instead pointing the finger at Manchester Airport for its 'inoperable baggage system'.

A spokesperson for TUI said: "We would like to apologise to our customers impacted by the disruption caused by the power outage at Manchester airport on Sunday 23rd June. We understand how disappointing it is for customers when a delay of this nature takes place and it's not the way we wanted their holiday to start.

"Unfortunately, some customers had to travel on holiday without their bags due to the inoperable baggage system at Manchester Airport. We would like to reassure customers that the vast majority of bags have now arrived at their intended destinations, and we will reunite customers with their luggage within the next 24 hours. We appreciate our customers' patience at this time."

A spokesperson from Manchester Airport has already confirmed: "Airlines' ground handling teams have been managing the luggage that did not make it on to flights and always ensure that it is absolutely safe and secure. The majority of the luggage that did not make it onto flights on Sunday has either made it to its owner or is in the process of getting there.

"We are sorry for the inconvenience Sunday's power outage caused and have been working closely with airlines, their appointed ground handling teams and other partners to ensure all passengers are reunited with their bags as soon as possible."

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