Couple's surprise holiday starts in chaos as flight cancelled on the runway

Sheila Greenacre, inset, was on the flight to Tenerife from Norwich Airport that was cancelled on the tarmac

Sheila Greenacre, inset, was on the flight to Tenerife from Norwich Airport that was cancelled on the tarmac - Credit: Archant/Sheila Greenacre

A husband and wife thrilled to be on their first getaway since the pandemic saw their holiday hanging in the balance over a cancelled flight.

Sheila Greenacre travelled from Wymondham to Norwich Airport on May 22 to whisk herself and her husband David away to Tenerife for a surprise trip to celebrate his 70th birthday.

But as the couple sat in the airport and their plane on the runway, their flight was delayed multiple times before being cancelled altogether.

Sheila Greenacre surprised her husband David with a trip to Tenerife for his 70th birthday

Sheila Greenacre surprised her husband David with a trip to Tenerife for his 70th birthday - Credit: Sheila Greenacre

The 68-year-old said that ten minutes before they were due to fly they were notified that there was a delay and there would be more information within the hour.

By 3pm there was word of an "overnight stop" and to go home if they could.

Mrs Greenacre explained: "The most difficult thing - apart from the fact the trip had been planned for months and months - was the lack of knowing what was happening.

"I couldn't get hold of anybody, there was no way of contacting anyone for help."

TUI has apologised to customers.

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"We then got an email at 10pm that told us TUI was organising the flight from Gatwick the next day and that we had to be at the airport for 5am.

"Thankfully I was looking out for a message but we could've easily been asleep at that point.

"We just didn't know if we were going to be able to get away or not," she added.

After a coach ride to the London airport the couple were able to still make their week-long break.

"It was a really stressful time," she added.

"It was the first time we'd risked travelling abroad since Covid.

Sheila Greenacre from Wymondham said that the ordeal had put her off going away again

Sheila Greenacre from Wymondham said that the ordeal had put her off going away again - Credit: Sheila Greenacre

"It's totally put us off going away again. I'm not in a hurry to re-book."

Sheila added that she is still unable to get through to TUI to make a compensation claim.

"It's just disappointing. TUI could've saved us a massive amount of anxiety and stress," she said.

A spokesman for TUI said in a previous statement: "We would like to apologise for the inconvenience to our customers who were impacted by a flight delay due to operational issues. 

"We thank customers for their patience and understanding at this time."