Terrified TUI passengers offered counselling after nightmare landing

By Harry Kemble
21/03/2023
Home » Terrified TUI passengers offered counselling after nightmare landing

TUI is offering counselling to passengers left traumatised when a plane tried to land in ‘awful’ turbulence during stormy weather.

Passengers on flight TOM 2477 from Tenerife to Manchester were screaming and in tears when the plane was buffeted from side to side as it tried to touch down during Storm Larisa on 9 March.

Once landed, passengers were told they’d been re-routed to East Midlands.

According to one man on board, they were also informed the pilot was a trainee and were asked to give him a round of applause for managing to land the aircraft.

The Mirror reports that passenger Gareth Salter feared he wouldn’t see family again.

He said: “People were panicking, babies were screaming, women were crying. There were some young girls behind us in floods of tears. There were crosswinds and we were buffeted about in the turbulence.

“We knew from the news the weather was going to be bad, but as soon as we started coming into land it just didn’t feel right.

“I knew it wasn’t Manchester as soon as we landed.

“Then they came on the speaker and said we were at East Midlands and that it was a trainee pilot and asked us to give him a clap for landing us safely.

“People were clapping because they were still in shock – it was just awful.”

TUI has offered passengers counselling through the Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP), which supported people affected by the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.

A spokesperson said session times and length of counselling would depend on individual’s requirements.

In a statement, TUI said: “Unfortunately, one of our aircraft was diverted to East Midlands Airport due to severe wind speeds on the approach to Manchester.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always our number one priority and we would like to reassure passengers that their safety was never compromised.

“Once safely landed, the pilot entered the cabin and updated passengers as to what had happened, and ground transportation was arranged for them to continue on to Manchester that evening, although we apologise if there were any further delays with the arranged transportation.

“We would like to assure customers that instances of this nature are rare and thank our passengers for their understanding.”

TUI also denied Mr Salter’s claim that shell-shocked passengers were ‘abandoned’ at East Midlands and left to find their own way home or arrange hotels.

TUI said transfers were organised to take people to Manchester Airport and people were also offered the choice to make their own way home and claim the costs back or were offered accommodation where it was unsafe to travel.

Photo is a stock image from Shutterstock

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