TUI flight seat blunder sees family forced to sit on the floor | Travel News | Travel

Aircraft chairs may be short on space and less squishy than is ideal, yet surely they’re a whole lot better than being forced to squat on the cold hard floor. That was the uncomfortable situation facing the Taylor family as they returned home from a sun-soaked break in Spain this month. Full of good vibes from their Mediterranean holiday, they arrived at Menorca airport ready for the short trip back to Birmingham. Yet it was at airline TUI Airways’s check in desk when they received the jaw-dropping news about their seats.

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The family of three had been allocated seats 41 D, E and F on the return leg of their TUI flight.

Yet Ian, 55, wife Paula, 44, and 10-year-old daughter Brooke were then told there had been a mix-up, and they did not actually feature on the plane.

Instead, they claim they sat on “jump up” seats when required to sit down for take off and landing, yet had no other option for the rest of journey, which amounts to just over two hours.

Cabin crew then managed to locate a seat for Brooke, but she joined her parents on the floor as she did not feel comfortable not being near to them.

Meanwhile, they could not use the jump seats for the entirety of the journey as cabin crew staff had to access the food and drinks services, with the chairs restricting their ability to do so if they were occupied.

TUI seat blunder: A family was forced to sit on the floor for their flight (Image: Paula Taylor)

Understandably infuriated by the situation, Paula told BBC One’s Rip Off Britain: Holidays: “It was hard and it’s uncomfortable and it’s just filthy.

“We just couldn’t believe it when we realised that there genuinely weren’t any seats for us.”

After finally arriving back in Birmingham, Paula complained to the airline.

Yet she claims she was only offered £30 in compensation, cited as a “gesture of goodwill”.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) meanwhile states passengers should only be allowed to sit in crew seats “under certain circumstances”.

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The guidelines add that passengers should never be left unseated during the duration of a flight.

TUI Airlines later told the TV show a “last minute aircraft change” was the reason for the epic blunder.

They then offered the family a full £1,300 refund for the entire cost of their holiday.

A TUI spokesperson told “We are sorry to hear about Mr Taylor and his family’s experience with us.

“Unfortunately a last minute aircraft change meant that the seats the family was originally assigned were unavailable as the alternative aircraft had a different seating configuration.

“We are also sorry for the way the situation was initially handled and we’ll be investigating this.

“We will also be contacting the customers directly to apologise and will be offering a full refund.”


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