Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Dream holiday turned to ‘inhumane’ nightmare for Aberdeen family

A  Mediterranean cruise turned into a nightmare for the Main family from Aberdeen when it was time to go home.
A Mediterranean cruise turned into a nightmare for the Main family from Aberdeen when it was time to go home.

An Aberdeen’s family £12,500 “dream holiday” was shattered after spending 17-and-a-half-hours waiting for a flight home.

Allan and Lisa Main said their Tui flight was ‘delayed’  after the family of seven had already made it onto the runway.

After boarding the plane, it was down to the pilot who said the flight wasn’t taking off.

Now the family are safely back in Aberdeen – two of the party have already tested positively for Covid.

Tui said that it had not cancelled the flight – it was “delayed overnight”.

The couple, from Portlethen, were on holiday with their two children, Ellie, 13, who has autism and ADHD, and Dylan, 18.

They were joined by Lisa’s mum Pamela Barber, stepdad Duncan Barber and 84-year-old Merle Symmers, who was wheelchair bound for the trip.

Passengers have contacted Tui to claim compensation due flight delays and issues. Shutterstock.

The holiday, which included flights from Aberdeen to Corfu, was aboard a cruise around the Eastern Mediterranean on the Tui Marella Explorer.

First holiday since Covid

The family were celebrating birthdays – Lisa’s 40th, Mrs Barber’s 60th, Mr Barber’s 50th – and Mr and Mrs Barber were also celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.

And, their son was celebrating his 18th birthday.

This was their first holiday since Covid.

Everything was as it should have been for the family holiday itself. The ship they were on explored countries such as Slovenia and Montenegro.

Mr Main, a taxi driver, said: “We were due to arrive home at Aberdeen Airport local time at 23.55pm on Friday evening.

Allan and Lisa Main during their holiday, little did they know what lay ahead.

“At first, the flight was first delayed for three hours.

“We were priority boarding to meet the needs of my daughter and Lisa’s gran. When we were on the bus to the plane, we noticed that people were being taken back to the terminal.

“The pilot announced the flight was cancelled and we heard conflicting reasons as to why this happened.

“The captain claimed he was ‘over his flight hours’ – when in actual fact it was the cabin crew that were over their hours.

‘Empty plane’

“The captain flew the plane empty back to Aberdeen.

He continued: “There was then a period of hours where no explanation was given to us. No Tui staff were present.

“Worst of all, there was no hydration. It was not offered and there was next to no air conditioning inside an already boiling hot airport building.”

The temperature was around 32C at the airport.

Due to the lateness of the hour there were no shops open in the airport.

“My 13-year-old daughter Ellie has autism and ADHD. She did not sleep for 36-hours. She had five meltdowns due to the noise, the lack of heat and lack of ventilation, and being dehydrated.

“We were offered a box room that smelt of poo, that was completely unsuitable.”

Lisa Main with her mum, stepdad and gran.

He said: “My wife’s grandma is 84 and has dementia and alzheimer’s. She is also partially sighted and walks with a stick. She was confined to a wheelchair for the entire time we were waiting.

“At one point we were effectively kicked out of the airport and we had to collect our luggage again, and after six hours were eventually let back through security.

“A large number of passengers quite rightly refused to comply, as a lot of young children and elderly people were fast asleep.

“I have never witnessed anything so chaotic in all my years of travelling.”

He added: “We were away for a week. It was a brilliant holiday until we got back to the airport. This story has to be told as it is not right that people were treated like this.


“There was no dignity for anyone, we were treated like cattle. It was inhumane.”

A spokeswoman for Tui said: “We’re really sorry to customers travelling on flight TOM1585 from Corfu to Aberdeen on July 22 which was unfortunately delayed as a result of knock-on operational disruption.

“The crew for this flight was impacted by an earlier delay which meant they were outside their mandatory operating hours and needed to rest before operating the flight from Corfu.

Ellie was forced to try to keep calm on the floor of the airport.

“Our teams were handing out bottles of water and meal vouchers to affected customers at Corfu Airport and we kept them up to date with text messages while we worked on a new flight plan.

“Regretfully, a lack of hotel availability in the area meant we couldn’t source any overnight accommodation for customers as we normally would in these circumstances.”


She continued: “Customers are entitled to EU 261 compensation and details of how to claim have also been provided.

“We do everything we can to get customers away as planned and, while instances like this are rare, we recognise we fell short of our usually high standards and apologise again.”

An apology from Tui to the Main family.

She reiterated that the flight was delayed overnight, not cancelled. She also said all passengers will receive an extra goodwill gesture from Tui for the inconvenience.