A newly married couple from Manchester had the start of their honeymoon ruined when the aircraft they were due to fly on was delayed by almost four hours.
Rebekah Kay and her husband were travelling from Manchester Airport to Pafos, Cyprus in June 2013, when the Thomas Cook airline was delayed due to a technical fault.
Mrs Kay describes how she arrived at the airport in plenty of time, and then noticed on the departures board that the flight was delayed by one hour. At the appropriate time, Mrs Kay, along with her husband and the other passengers went to the departure gate in the hope of boarding the aircraft and flying to Cyprus to enjoy her honeymoon.
To access the departure gate passengers had to walk down some stairs. Mrs Kay said: “It was fine with us, but there were a lot of families with prams, and as you can imagine it was quite difficult for some passengers.”
Once the passengers arrived at the departure gate, they were told by airport staff that the departure would be at 4:30PM.
The passengers returned to the waiting area and when the time had reached 4:30PM, Mrs Kay says: “The departure board showed the flight as departing at 5:30PM and then suddenly the notice board changed stating ‘last call to the gate’.”
I got more information from the Bott and Co flight delay compensation team than I did out of Thomas Cook
Everybody rushed to the departure gate in order to make the flight, which then took off from Manchester airport almost four hours after the 13:55PM flight was scheduled to take off.
The delay ‘ruined’ the start of Mrs Kay’s honeymoon. She said: “It was not the best start to my honeymoon, in one way it ruined the start of our new lives. We had paid to go into the executive lounge at the airport, before we boarded the flight. However, because the flight was delayed for over three hours, we had to pay for further use of the executive lounge out of our own money.”
No information was given by Thomas Cook staff about the delay, because there were no Thomas Cook staff available. The couple were not offered a complimentary drink until they were on the plane. Under European Regulation 261/2004, passengers are entitled to a right of assistance, including the right to a telephone call, meal and drink.
Mrs Kay said: “Nothing was mentioned by the airline about compensation and no drink vouchers were offered until passengers were on the aircraft. Thomson then offered one free drink per person. No reason was given for delay, other than it would be delayed for a few hours, and then a few hours turn into four hours.”
She went on to say: “We did not arrive in the hotel until 1:00AM, when we should have arrived at 9:00PM, as you can imagine; we were incredibly tired the next day.
“We had some friends at the same airport who were on a different flight, who were also delayed, however they were delayed for 26 hours and have put in a claim for flight compensation with Bott and Co.”
The couple approached the law firm who took charge of the case and sought to recovery compensation from the airline, which ruined the start of Mr and Mrs Kay’s new lives together.
Mrs Kay said: “I got more information from the Bott and Co flight delay compensation team than I did out of Thomas Cook.”