TUI passengers opened up on 'nightmare' flight that was 'too heavy to take off'

Passengers were gutted as they watched their luggage being removed from the aircraft
-Credit: (Image: Submitted)

Plane passengers told of a "nightmare" flight which was delayed by more than 16 hours due to the aircraft being "too heavy". Holidaymakers' excitement while sitting on the TUI plane at Exeter Airport one day last summer soon turned to anger.

Customers were eagerly awaiting take-off to Turkey on June 3, 2023, but were left gutted when they were told there was "an issue with the weight". They watched on in sheer disappointment as luggage was removed "at random" in a bid to bring the weight down.

One passenger claimed that they were told the aircraft was carrying too much fuel before the passengers were then told to disembark, Devon Live reports.

With the problem unresolved that evening, the travellers were left to make their own way home - as there was not enough hotel availability in the city to put them up. The flight eventually took off from Exeter at 8.40am on June 4, 2023, over 16 hours behind schedule.

One disgruntled flyer said: "It was bit of a nightmare to be honest. We will definitely be asking questions of the company. They have only offered us the equivalent of one day's holiday back."

A spokesperson for TUI said: "We completely understand the frustration of customers who were due to be on flight FHY546 from Exeter and we would like to apologise for the delay in their journey.

"The flight, operated by Freebird, experienced a technical issue prior to take off. As a precaution, all customers needed to be disembarked so that engineers could carry out an inspection and resolve the problem.

"Due to hotel availability in Exeter, customers were required to return home. Expenses can be claimed back for travel and sustenance expenses. Those customers travelling on a TUI package will receive a one-day pro rata refund.

"All customers received full communications on how to claim back expenses, as well as details of how to claim compensation from Freebird in accordance with EU regulations. Passengers are now on their way to destination, and we thank them for their patience and understanding.

"The aircraft was in full working order when customers boarded the aircraft however, once the captain completed final checks encountered a weight restriction performance issue. As a precaution, all customers needed to be disembarked so that our engineers could carry out an inspection and resolve the problem."

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