Holidaymakers expecting to land on a sunny Spanish island instead touched down in Northern Ireland this morning.

Tourists with cases packed with swimwear were met with 18 degrees and drizzle in Belfast - not a scorching 34 degrees in Mallorca.

A spokesman for the airline - TUI - confirmed the stop was to pick up a crew member.

It comes as countless city folk have been chasing the airline for compensation as a result of widespread delays.

Norwich Evening News: The roundabout outside Belfast Airport.The roundabout outside Belfast Airport. (Image: GoogleMaps)

The latest travel headache for Norwich Airport passengers were those on the TOM524 to Palma Mallorca on Tuesday morning.

A spokeswoman for the airline said: "We fully understand customers’ frustration due to the delay of flight TOM5248 from Norwich to Palma."

It is understood the plane only landed in Belfast for a short stay.

She confirmed the flight had safely landed in Palma Mallorca later in the day.

Norwich Evening News: Holidaymakers have faced delays due to operational issues with TUI flightsHolidaymakers have faced delays due to operational issues with TUI flights (Image: Jackie Heffer-Cooke)

The disruption adds to the travel chaos this summer as operational issues caused by staff shortages continue to have a big impact on holidaymakers.

TUI and one of its outsource companies AlbaStar has not responded when contacted for comment on why there are still flights being disrupted.

The Belfast diversion comes after a flight travelling from Norwich to Dalaman on Friday, August 12 was badly delayed - with passengers being informed they would be taken to Gatwick by coach the next day.

This then had a knock-on impact on the flight from Mallorca to Norwich on Saturday which was delayed by nine hours and 20 minutes.

Philip Waller was among those delayed on this flight having been on a family holiday.

He said: "There was obviously an issue with the plane as it couldn’t fly to Turkey on the Friday afternoon.

"TUI therefore flew a plane down from Manchester to cover the Mallorca flight so this caused the delay."

Norwich Evening News: Philip Waller is among the Norwich Airport customers hit by TUI delays this summerPhilip Waller is among the Norwich Airport customers hit by TUI delays this summer (Image: Philip Waller)

Mr Waller said TUI staff in Palma were helpful and offered delayed customers two options - either to stay at the airport with food and drink vouchers or a trip with lunch and drinks provided.

Martyn James, who works for complaints support company Resolver, said there has been a backlog with airline complaints pre-dating the pandemic over the last few years.

The length of a flight delay and the distance a customer is flying has an impact on what they are entitled to.

For example, if a flight is up to 1,500km and is more than three hours late customers can claim £220.

Norwich Evening News: Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNorwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY (Image: Archant)

Meanwhile, those whose flight was more than 3,500km and more than four hours late are entitled to £520 in compensation.

Mr James said: "Airlines can be a bit funny about the information they need to assess a claim.

"To be on the safe side, I recommend including everything including your booking reference and flight number, along with the details you used to book the flights, like your email.

"This shouldn’t all be necessary, but realistically, it will save time in the short-term."

The consumer law expert added that costs incurred as a result of flight cancellations and delays are not compensation guaranteed.

Mr James explained: "You might also indirectly lose money as a result of the situation. For example, you might have lost a day of paid work.

"These losses are much harder to quantify but it doesn’t mean you can’t claim for them."

Phil Doig, 66, is still seeking to claim compensation covered by the EU Package Travel Directive after his flight to Mallorca from Norwich was delayed on June 24.

His daughter was also delayed on the flight from Mallorca to Norwich on Saturday.

She boarded a Ryanair flight to Stanstead instead where Mr Doig picked her up as her car was at Norwich Airport.

Mr Doig - who lives in Salhouse - said: "When you try to call TUI you are stuck in a queue. They are inundated with people trying to get their money back.

"They are just hiding behind this great mask of ineptitude."