Family criticises level of service after flight delay

Northumberland Gazette latest
Northumberland Gazette latest
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A family has accused a travel agent of poor service after their flight was delayed by almost 24 hours, demanding compensation for the ‘delay and distress’ they suffered.

However, Thomson has refused to budge, saying the incident was caused by circumstances out of its control and the company has followed industry-wide regulations.

The complaint relates to a party of eight from Alnwick, including mum Emma Leighton, her partner Jon and their six-year-old daughter Darci.

They say that they were booked onto the 9.15pm (Greek time) flight from Zante airport to Newcastle on Tuesday, September 6, but it did not leave until 6pm local time the following day, due to adverse weather conditions. They say they received ‘very little information’ from Thomson representatives on arrival at the airport, branding the level of service ‘disgusting’. The group says it took them more than three hours to check in and get through passport control and the departure area was ‘absolute chaos, with thousands of people lying on the floor and over staircases’.

They say that temporary accommodation was found at the village of Laganas, but because the Thomson representative had no way of getting back, they were abandoned in the resort of Kalamaki. The group says the coach had soaking wet seats, causing Darci distress. When they did arrive at the temporary accommodation, at 6.10am local time, they were initially refused entry. The group say they received no update from Thomson, until contacting the representative later on September 7.

They deny Thomson’s claim that food/drink vouchers were issued and want reimbursing for the extra money they had to spend following the delay. They say that numerous Thomson flights landed and took off during the time they were delayed.

A Thomson spokeswoman said: “Because the delay was caused by circumstances beyond our control, the compensation claim does not meet the criteria of the EU regulations followed by all airlines. We did our best to find suitable alternative accommodation and provided vouchers for food and drink at the airport. We are following industry-wide regulations.”