TUI passengers recount “hellish” ordeal after being abandoned at Turkish airport for 57 hours during country’s lock down

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TUI customers have accused the company of abandoning them in “hellish” conditions at a Turkish airport for more than 57 hours as the country went into lock down.

Eight passengers were stranded at Antalya airport after flying out on Monday [16 Mar] and say they were left with restricted access to food, hot water and medication during the ordeal.

They claim a TUI pilot refused to take them back to Gatwick when they were denied entry into the country, despite having an “empty” plane.

The group, which included a disabled child, were forced to share a “tiny” airless room and say their TUI rep refused to assist them, saying it was out of his working hours.

Images show the cramped holding room where some passengers slept, another shows benches that other customers were forced to use due to the lack of space.

Another screenshot appears to show the TUI rep in question refusing to help until his shift officially began.

“When we called the TUI rep, he said it’s not his working hours!

The passengers say they were given the “dirty” bathroom pictured which had little to no hot water and were told to use their shirts to dry themselves.

Concerns were also raised over one elderly passenger who apparently
developed a urinary infection due to the lack of access to hot water at the facility.

In a distressing audio clip, the elderly woman can be heard pleading: “My husband is outside, if I were to stay here for four days I will die, without anything, I will die before.”

The situation came to light after passenger Telma Feliciano, from Oxford, posted a desperate cry for help on social media.

She wrote on Monday: “Plea for help, we are 8 customers of TUI (including a child and an elderly) stranded in Antalya airport since yesterday afternoon.

“In cold and with no place or blanket to sleep over night. So far not a word from TUI.

“When we called the TUI rep, he said it’s not his working hours!

“You don’t know us and we don’t know you, but if you know anybody who can help us, please send me a message.”

Speaking today, the 35-year-old added: “The didn’t have ventilation, was visibly dirty and smelled of cigarette among other things.

“The Turkish police have been amazing though, next time I will book my holiday with them. Luckily a man drove all the way to the airport to bring us supplies too.”

“They gave us one blanket between five people and all they could fed us was burgers.

“We couldn’t keep our luggage and had to ask for access if we needed something. They took my medicine away and I needed to ask for it every time.

“An elderly lady developed bladder infection due to lack of access to hot water and shower. She was not in a good place unfortunately.

“The Turkish police have been amazing though, next time I will book my holiday with them. Luckily a man drove all the way to the airport to bring us supplies too.”

Her partner Daniel, 40, who does not want his surname used added: “I’ve read the bible and hell doesn’t sound as bad as those conditions were.”

Following intervention from the press, the group were repatriated to Manchester in the early hours of this morning.

TUI have been approached for comment three times but have not offered any response.

 
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