Geoff Scarr from Swindon was delayed with his wife and four other family members on 29th June 2014, after enjoying a special family holiday in Spain.
The group were due to depart on their Thomas Cook flight home at 11.10am but were delayed for over 9 hours and 40 minutes, not arriving in Bristol until later that evening.
Initially, the Scarr family boarded the aircraft on time but then had to sit on the unmoving plane for an hour. The pilot announced that they had called an engineer out due to a problem alarming a door – something which should have been checked before passengers got on the plane.
It was a total waste of time for everyone and there was a lack of information given.
All passengers were told to get off the plane and go back inside the airport terminal, where they remained for a further five hours. They were then called to board the plane again, presuming the problem had been solved.
Mr Scarr said:
“Ten in from the back of the queue, things started to move forward. Then we heard reports that 50 people aren’t going to get onto the plane! They were going to take families with children and disabled people first and then start boarding from the front of the queue.”
“We thought. ‘If they can’t alarm the door, why is it only 50 people less getting on? Why not all 250 people?’ We were never given any information, all we were told was that there were going to be 50 people left behind.”
A Spanish rep approached Geoff and his family and said that unfortunately they wouldn’t be getting on the plane. “We were asked for our names and addresses and told that we would get £150 in compensation. It was a simple ‘You’re not going on the plane’.”
Geoff says that the food vouchers given by the airline as part of their obligations under European regulation weren’t substantial enough for the delay.
We were then told that they were flying a plane from England to come and pick us up; no consultations, no other offers.
The family and 44 other passengers boarded the new aircraft some hours later and flew home.
Geoff said “It’s put me off travelling with Thomas Cook because of the lack of information. If we were kept informed throughout, we might feel differently.”
A month later, they were issued with a reference number for online vouchers to be used on Thomas Cook Holidays which had to be used by May 1st 2015.
The holiday vouchers didn’t match the inconvenience and time lost.
Geoff emailed Thomas Cook twice to which they replied stating that £150 in vouchers was their level of cover for that amount of time delayed. “That was the main reason for contacting Bott and Co, we didn’t want £150 vouchers, we wanted £150 compensation.”
Bott and Co helped Mr Wragg and his family members secure £189.41 each in compensation, £1,136.46 in total.