Hundreds of British tourists stranded in Canaries due to weird weather phenomenon

By Linsey McNeill
13/03/2023
Home » Hundreds of British tourists stranded in Canaries due to weird weather phenomenon

Two flights from the Lanzarote to the UK were among four international services that had to be postponed overnight yesterday due to fog and low cloud swept in by a hot wind.

An incoming TUI flight from East Midlands and a Jet2 flight from Birmingham were diverted to Gran Canaria.

Passengers due to travel on the return flights yesterday were forced to remain overnight in Lanzarote while waiting for the fog and cloud to clear.

However, a TUI customer claimed that while Jet2 passengers were taken to hotels within two hours of their flight being cancelled, TUI left up to 100 people to sleep on the airport floor.

James Nightingale has emailed TUI boss Andrew Flintham threatening to sue the tour operator, after he and his partner had to wait till 4am to be moved to a hotel when their 7.15pm departure on TOM 7719 was grounded.

He claimed they were left at the airport for around nine hours without any information or food or drink and those with medical needs – including diabetics – were unable to access medication they had packed in their checked luggage.

James, who suffers from fibromyalgia, called TUI’s emergency medical number to request assistance while he was left at the airport, but he says the line cut off after it had been ringing for 23 minutes.

In two emails sent to Andrew Flintham, James wrote that he was planning to sue TUI for leaving the couple ‘high and dry’ in contravention of its own health and safety policies, and also he said he would ask the Financial Conduct Authority to decline insurance companies underwriting TUI holidays ‘due to non-compliance of its own written contractual obligations on health and safety’.

It is understood the flight has been rescheduled for this afternoon, at 15:40.

A TUI spokesperson told Travel Gossip: “We completely understand the frustration of customers on flight TOM 7719 and TOM4767. This situation is extremely unfortunate and does not reflect the high standards that we strive to deliver for our customers.

“The delay was caused by two previous flights being unable to land in Lanzarote due to poor visibility. Whilst we have been able to source accommodation for many of our customers, shortages in the area have meant we were regrettably unable to allocate hotels for all guests. This issue affected customers across all airlines.

“Unfortunately our team were restricted access to the departure lounge, which meant it was difficult for us to get airside to assist customers.

“Both flights have now been rescheduled, and we hope to have all passengers safely on their way home this afternoon. We’d like to apologise again for any inconvenience caused and thank customers for their patience and understanding. Our customer care teams will be in direct contact with these customers.”

A Jet2 spokesperson said: “Due to adverse weather conditions yesterday, Lanzarote Airport temporarily suspended all arrivals and departures.

“This meant that flight LS1303 from Birmingham to Lanzarote Airport had to divert to Gran Canaria, and all customers received hotel accommodation and refreshments last night.

“Customers due to travel on the inbound flight LS1304 from Lanzarote to Birmingham were also provided with hotel accommodation and refreshments.

“Our teams are doing everything they can to look after customers and although this is completely outside of our control, we would like to apologise to all customers who have been affected. Both affected flights will operate today.”

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