Family are f loored by airline’s seat blunder
A FAMILY was forced to sit on the floor of an aeroplane during their flight home from Menorca after being told that their allocated seats did not exist.
Paula Taylor, 44, her husband Ian, 55, and their daughter Brooke, 10, from Alcester, Warwickshire, arrived early at Mahon airport in June last year for their flight with TUI airlines.
They were given the seat numbers 41 D, E and F, but when they boarded the plane they found that they did not exist.
“We made sure we were three hours early at the airport to check in early just to make sure we got seats together,” Mrs Taylor told BBC One’s Rip-off Britain: Holidays.
“We went straight to the front and we were very excited about the fact we had managed to sit together.”
Yet, on the plane, they could not locate the seats on their boarding passes.
“We all just looked at each other as if to say ‘where’s our seats gone?’. There were no seats where our seats should be,” Mrs Taylor said.
Members of the cabin crew proposed that 10-yearold Brooke could take the last spare seat on the flight, and Mr and Mrs Taylor could sit in spare flip-up chairs meant for crew.
However, after take-off, the couple were told they would have to vacate their seats as the attendants needed access to the food and duty-free items, which were stored behind them.
On the floor they were joined by their daughter and later the co-pilot of the aircraft, who thanked the family for their “cooperation and understanding”.
“He said how calm we were and that he was so grateful because he would have missed the time slot for take off,” Mrs Taylor said.
She said of the floor: “It’s hard and it’s uncomfortable and it’s just filthy.”
The Civil Aviation Authority, the body that regulates airlines in the UK, is now investigating the incident. Passengers are allowed to sit in crew seats under certain conditions, but must not be left unseated during any stage of the flight.
After being contacted by the programme, TUI offered the family a full £1,300 refund, blaming the incident on a “last-minute aircraft change”. However, Mrs Taylor said she “got short shrift” from the airline when she had complained immediately after the incident.
She alleges that, after explaining
‘There were no seats where our seats should have been’
to the company that the seats were “physically missing”, she was told there was no record of the incident and offered a “good will gesture” of £30. Frustrated, she contacted Rip-off Britain.
A spokesman for TUI said: “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’re also sorry for the way the situation was initially handled and we’ll be investigating this.”
The episode of Rip-off Britain: Holidays will be broadcast on BBC One tomorrow at 9.15am.
Paula, Ian and daughter Brooke Taylor, 10, discovered their allocated plane seats did not exist on a TUI flight from Menorca