Angry and frustrated passengers were left “abandoned” on a flight from Manchester to Tenerife and a TUI pilot called the police to help everyone off the plane.
This is the second time TUI has called the police to act on their behalf because of the lack of staff.
Adam Wyczalkowski, 22, described how a lack of staff available meant the police were required to “let us disembark” on TOM2106 flight.
Wyczalkowski told the Manchester Evening News, “The flight was meant to leave at 5.50pm, but we were late getting on board in the first place which was around 7pm.
“We were told the bags would need to be loaded by Swissport, but then we heard they had only half loaded them onto the aircraft.
“We were then told all the staff had then disappeared, and the captain told us all that due to crew hour regulations, the flight might get cancelled in the end.
“Eventually they made another announcement that there had been no communication about us getting off the plane because there were no staff available to let us off.
“There are so many kids on here and families excited go away for half-term.
“People are just getting so frustrated and angry. It is so hot and there is no air con on and we were only offered a complimentary drink.”
He added, “There was not a single member of staff in sight, so the captain informed us they will be calling the police in order to let us disembark.”
A spokesperson for TUI said they wanted to “apologise to customers,” they said the flight’s departure had been “unfortunately delayed due to operational issues.”
TUI added, “We were in contact with affected customers, offered overnight accommodation and meals where needed, and advised them of their new departure time as soon as we could.”
A statement from Swissport said, “While the return in flight volumes after the serious impact of the pandemic is undoubtedly a positive development, it is also exacerbating resource challenges across the aviation industry, including at Swissport, especially at a busy period of holiday travel.
“We are very sorry for our part in any delays and disruption passengers have experienced.
“We’re doing everything we can to address our role in meeting our resource challenges, welcoming over 2,000 new colleagues since the start of the year, and we continue to work with our partners to identify contingency measures and improve baggage and aircraft turnaround times.”