Norwich holidaymakers were left stranded at a Turkish airport "without so much as a glass of water" after their TUI flight was delayed by nearly 18 hours. 

Passengers flying from Dalaman to Norwich on Friday (June 30) were scheduled to take off at 8.55pm but instead spent hours in the airport wondering when they would get back to Norfolk. 

Among the passengers were Jim Howe, 49, and his wife who were travelling back to Aslacton near Long Stratton.  

They were told at check-in that there was already a three-hour delay, so accepting this, the couple settled down in the airport to get some food. 

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And as the couple tucked into their £45 McDonald's, the board changed to say their flight was now taking off at 2.35pm on Saturday (July 1). 

“We heard nothing from nobody as we had already gone through check-in so the TUI reps couldn’t get through security,” Mr Howe said. “We sat around and eventually after about five hours we heard all this commotion going on and there were all these people complaining to security. 

“The people working at security managed to get a couple of TUI reps to deal with it and eventually they said the flight had been completely cancelled.” 

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Passengers were told they could wait at the airport until a flight the following day or TUI could put them on a plane to Gatwick or Birmingham at 3am. 

Mr Howe and his wife eventually made it home to Norfolk at 11.30am on Saturday after getting a coach put on by TUI from Birmingham Airport.  

A spokeswoman for TUI said: "We completely understand the frustration of customers who were due to be on flight TOM455 from Dalaman to Norwich and we would like to apologise for the delay in their journey.  

"The flight experienced a technical issue prior to take off, and as a precaution, two new TUI aircrafts were deployed to transport passengers to the UK, the TOM811 which arrived into Birmingham and the TOM207 which arrived into Gatwick." 

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It comes just days after another TUI flight was delayed in Rhodes and diverted to Birmingham Airport, with passengers unaware they were not arriving in Norwich until the plane was ready to land. 

Mr Howe added: “The annoying thing was that we had no contact from TUI at all, we weren’t even given a glass of water during the whole delay.  

“I thought when we got on the plane they would offer a free drink and something to eat but we got nothing."