Yorkshire newlyweds turned away from honeymoon flight 25 minutes before departure
A newly married couple from Yorkshire had their dream exotic honeymoon shattered after learning 25 minutes before their flight that the plane was overbooked.
Devastated Alex and Willow Rymer from Harrogate were looking forward to a relaxing holiday in Cape Verde. Due to the couple’s incredibly demanding schedule – Alex is caring for his 94-year-old mother who suffers from dementia – arranging time off is usually tricky.
After many back and forths, they decided to book a stay at the TUI BLUE Cabo Verde resort in Cape Verde, which they had fallen in love with during their three previous visits. However, 25 minutes before they left Manchester Airport on Sunday, TUI staff told them they could not board the plane as it was too full.
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“They said only six of us weren’t contacted until we got to the airport,” Alex said to the mirror. “We said it was outrageous and they had to find out beforehand. They weren’t interested.”
Alex said when he tried to use online check-in the day before receiving an error code which prompted him to call the TUI helpline. However, after waiting 25 minutes, he was told the line was down, causing him to wait another 54 minutes before a customer service representative told him to print the boarding pass at the airport.
Alex and Willow, who had stayed the night at a nearby hotel, had been waiting for two and a half hours in the departures hall when they received a message asking them to find a member of staff. Along with 24 other people, they were told there was not enough room on the 767 plane that had been replaced by the 787 Dreamliner.
“We have the cat at the cattery, my mother has dementia and we had to organize care for her,” says Alex, 52.
“Family members have taken time off to look after her. I’m my 94 year old mum’s full time carer and this was my week off. TUI just don’t give monkeys. C is the lack of care.”
The couple have already had to delay their honeymoon by a year due to the pandemic and to make matters worse, the refund TUI has to send them is the amount they paid two years ago – which is worth much less now because of the high rate of inflation.
They are now hoping for compensation for their airport hotel stay and parking, but are devastated that their honeymoon has been canceled indefinitely.
A TUI spokesperson said: “We would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused to our customers on flight TOM586 from Manchester to Sal, Cape Verde on Sunday May 22 who were affected by a change in aircraft due to operational issues.
“We contacted affected customers as soon as we became aware of the change, offering the option to cancel their holiday for a full refund, change their holiday with an incentive or change to an alternative flight.
“We understand how frustrating and disappointing this has been and we are truly sorry for any inconvenience caused.”