Holidaymakers claim they have been stranded at Barbados Airport for almost 24 hours and forced to sleep on the floor after their flight to the UK was delayed

  • Passengers were due to leave holiday island to head back to London last night 
  • But a technical issue with the aircraft meant their flight was delayed overnight
  • They claim that they had to sleep on the airport floor as no hotels were available 

Holidaymakers claim they have been stranded at Barbados Airport and forced to sleep on the floor after their flight back to the UK was delayed.

The passengers were due to depart from Grantley Adams International at 4pm yesterday (January 24) en-route to Gatwick on a TUI flight but the aircraft experienced an ‘unforeseen technical issue’ – delaying the service.

And almost 24 hours after they were due to fly back, passengers say they have been left with little information from TUI reps.

Holidaymakers claim they have been stranded at Barbados Airport and forced to sleep on the floor after their TUI flight back to the UK was delayed

Because the England cricket team are currently playing the West Indies in a test match on the island, the passengers have not been accommodated. 

The passengers have been told that they won’t be put on a flight until tonight and will arrive back in London on Saturday morning – a day late.

One of the stranded is Sheena Rideout, a cleaner from Bath, who has been on a cruise for two weeks with her husband Kevin, son Darren and his wife Helen.

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The family checked in for yesterday’s flight at 2pm, but are still in the airport.

Sheena explained: ‘When we checked in our seats had been changed from the ones we paid to reserve with no information on why.

‘We went through to the departure lounge then there was an announcement that the flight was delayed for 30 minutes, then there would be an update.

Passengers were given food vouchers to spend in the airport but many of the restaurants were closed

‘This happened several times then around 6pm the captain of the plane came in and announced that our flight was cancelled

‘We have had no TUI reps to give us information. We were told we would be put up in a hotel but it soon became clear we would be sleeping in the airport as blankets and pillows arrived.’

Sheena added they were given food vouchers worth 30 Barbados dollars (£11) as well as water and tea, but had very little sleep overnight in the airport. And many of the restaurants were shut.

Today she says the passengers were offered a trip to a beach club for the day and to have lunch but were warned it did not have air conditioning.

Sheena explained: ‘It’s not very suitable considering we are dressed for the winter weather back home.’

Passengers took to Twitter to criticise TUI for their treatment after their flight from Barbados to London was cancelled 

Meanwhile other passengers due to be on the delayed flight took to social media to complain about their treatment.

Patrick Ward wrote on Twitter: ‘An absolute joke what an appalling way to treat customers – flight Tom021 from Barbados back to Gatwick cancelled due to technical issue but apart from one initial announcement senior staff just legged it and left us stranded – not good enough.’

While Rosie Irvine added: ‘@TUIUKcares shame on you! Stuck in Barbados airport and not a single TUI rep to tell us what’s happening. You can’t keep us in this lounge for 30 hrs. Issuing us with a pillow and blanket ain’t cutting it! It’s INHUMANE.’

A TUI spokesperson said: ‘We would like to sincerely apologise to all customers on flight TOM021 from Barbados to London Gatwick, which has been delayed overnight due to a technical issue with the aircraft. 

‘We understand how frustrating this must be and we are working hard to resolve the technical issue and the flight is due to depart at 9pm local time.

‘Due to limited available hotel options we were unable to source accommodation for all customers. 

‘We did everything possible to minimise discomfort for customers overnight, and they have today been transported to a beach restaurant, where they are being provided with meals and refreshments until their scheduled departure time. 

‘We would again like to sincerely apologise for this disruption.’   

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