Norwich Airport: TUI flight lands in Belfast not Mallorca
4:44 PM August 16, 2022
4:02 PM August 16, 2022
Holidaymakers expecting to touch down on a sunny Spanish island landed in Northern Ireland this morning instead.
Tourists with suitcases full of swimwear were greeted with 18 degrees and a drizzle in Belfast – not a scorching 34 degrees in Mallorca.
A spokesperson for the airline – TUI – confirmed the stop was to pick up a crew member.
It comes as countless city dwellers have sued the airline for compensation over widespread delays.
The latest travel headache for passengers at Norwich Airport was TOM524 bound for Palma de Mallorca on Tuesday morning.
A spokeswoman for the airline said: “We fully understand customer frustration over the delay of flight TOM5248 from Norwich to Palma.”
It is understood the plane only landed in Belfast for a short stay.
She confirmed the flight landed safely in Palma de Mallorca later that day.
The disruption is adding to travel chaos this summer as operational issues caused by understaffing continue to have a big impact on holidaymakers.
TUI and one of its outsourcing companies, AlbaStar, did not respond when contacted to explain why flights are still being disrupted.
The diversion from Belfast comes after a flight traveling from Norwich to Dalaman on Friday August 12 was heavily delayed – passengers being told they would be taken to Gatwick by coach the following day.
This then impacted the flight from Mallorca to Norwich on Saturday, which was delayed by nine hours and 20 minutes.
Philip Waller was among those delayed on that flight after being on a family vacation.
He said: “There was obviously a problem with the plane as it couldn’t fly to Turkey on Friday afternoon.
“So TUI brought in a plane from Manchester to cover the Mallorca flight, which caused the delay.”
Mr Waller said TUI staff in Palma were helpful and offered delayed customers two options – either staying at the airport with food and drink vouchers or traveling with lunch and drinks provided.
Martyn James, who works for complaints support firm Resolver, said there has been a backlog with pre-pandemic airline complaints over the past few years.
The length of a flight delay and the distance a customer has traveled impact what they are entitled to.
For example, if a flight is up to 1,500km and more than three hours late, customers can claim £220.
Meanwhile, those whose flight was over 3,500km and more than four hours late are entitled to £520 in compensation.
Mr James said: “Airlines can be a little funny about the information they need to assess a claim.
“To be on the safe side, I recommend including everything, including your booking reference and flight number, as well as the details you used to book the flights, such as your email.
“All of this shouldn’t be necessary, but realistically it will save time in the short term.”
The consumer law expert added that costs incurred as a result of flight cancellations and delays are not guaranteed compensation.
Mr James explained: “You could also indirectly lose money because of the situation. For example, you could have lost a day of paid work.
“These losses are much harder to quantify, but that doesn’t mean you can’t claim them.”
Phil Doig, 66, is still seeking compensation covered by the EU Package Travel Directive after his flight to Mallorca from Norwich was delayed on June 24.
Her daughter was also delayed on the flight from Mallorca to Norwich on Saturday.
She boarded a Ryanair flight to Stanstead, where Mr Doig picked her up as her car was at Norwich Airport.
Mr Doig – who lives in Salhouse – said: “When you try to call TUI you are stuck in a queue. They are inundated with people trying to get their money back.
“They’re just hiding behind this big mask of incompetence.”