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When Holidays Go Horribly Wrong and Other Travel Nightmares shares the stories of people who had the most “disastrous” holidays. In the first episode of the series, a family experienced a nine-hour wait at Manchester airport only to be told their holiday was cancelled at the departure gate.
Rachel and her family planned an all-inclusive holiday in Egypt and were really looking forward to going on vacation after being unable to travel for three years due to the Covid pandemic.
The family arrived at Bristol airport and were extremely “excited” to head to their dream destination but unfortunately, they were affected by the flight cancellations.
As soon as they pulled into the car park at Bristol airport, they were “shocked” to see the chaos outside the terminal.
Rachel then received an email from the airline saying that they had cancelled her holiday. “I just burst into tears, and then my daughter burst into tears,” she recalled.
Rachel decided to go inside the terminal anyway to speak with a company representative and find out what to do next.
“It was scenes of absolute chaos, there were families in huddles, with children crying and parents just looking shocked,” she explained.
As she didn’t find anyone who could help her, she decided to call customer services who told her that she could rebook the holiday herself but at her own risk. “I thought ‘This can’t actually be happening’,” said Rachel but unfortunately, the family didn’t have any other choice than to go back home.
Jayesh and his family experienced a very similar situation at Manchester airport. They had been hearing about delays and holiday cancellations for weeks before their departure, but they did not expect what they saw at the terminal.
Jayesh and his children arrived at Manchester airport three hours before their flight to find a one-mile-long queue.
After queueing for two hours just to drop off their bags, they finally went through security, but they soon discovered that their flight was delayed by four hours.
Due to the delay, the airline gave them a £5 voucher but “£5 in an airport… let’s face it, it doesn’t go very far at all, does it?” a travel expert commented.
After waiting in the airport for eight hours, they received a message saying that “due to operational reasons”, their flight was cancelled.
“And because we had a package holiday, our whole holiday was cancelled,” Jayesh explained.
People in Manchester airport quickly became agitated and some passengers “started shouting and crying,” especially the ones who had been drinking all day long, the father of three explained.
The situation escalated to the point that the police had to step in. “I actually felt like I wanted to cry. It was very upsetting,” he admitted.
The family had to wait three more hours for the ground staff to offload their bags from the aircraft and after 12 hours at the airport, they were left with no other choice but to go home.
The Civil Aviation Authority explained that if a flight gets cancelled to or from the UK, the airline “must let you choose between two options, receive a refund or choose an alternative flight”.
“You can get your money back for all parts of the ticket you haven’t used. For instance, if you have booked a return flight and the outbound leg is cancelled, you can get the full cost of the return ticket back from your airline.
“If you still want to travel, your airline must find you an alternative flight. It’s up to you whether to fly as soon as possible after the cancelled flight, or at a later date that suits you,” they explained.
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