Former TUI worker and mum-of-two among those hit by airport chaos
- Credit: Kirsty Rose
A city mum who was struck down with illness while on holiday felt like she would pass out after travel chaos meant hours stuck at an airport.
Kirsty Rose, 34, was among those who had to wait for around four-and-a-half hours at Birmingham Airport after the TUI flight from Dalaman in Turkey to Norwich was diverted on Friday night.
TUI has apologised for the way passengers on the flight were treated after young families were left stranded with no food or water at Birmingham Airport.
They only found out they would be diverted as they were sat on the plane home.
Many returned to Norwich at Saturday lunchtime - having landed in Birmingham at 3.15am - after TUI put on taxis from Birmingham.
The flight was meant to land at Norwich at 10.55pm on Friday.
Ms Rose - who used to work as a travel agent for TUI before leaving the industry - had flown to Turkey with her partner William Schindler and her children Alfie and Thea-Rose, aged three-years-old and 13-months-old.
But the Hethersett mum began feeling ill on Thursday evening during the holiday and was rushed to hospital in Dalaman where she was found to have the stomach bug gastroenteritis.
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She was in hospital for two days and required six drips as well as five lots of medication.
The subsequent disruption caused by TUI was therefore the last thing she needed.
Ms Rose said: "It was a dire situation which sort of ruined the holiday. To be honest you remember the bad things rather than all the good points.
"I used to work for TUI which I am a bit embarrassed to admit because of the way they have treated people.
"I worked as a travel agent for a number of years so I know customer service and what is required. They are not treating people as they should."
Passengers were told by TUI that an issue with a ramp was holding up their luggage.
But a baggage officer in the airport told multiple people it was in fact to do with staffing shortages.
Ms Rose said a TUI representative showed up for "a couple of minutes" but then left after being heckled by frustrated passengers.
She added: "I knew there was going to be a delay because I had checked my phone prior to the flight. But to be told we were going to Birmingham while we were on the plane was a real kick in the teeth.
"When we landed we were waiting the best part of four hours for the luggage. Fortunately I had refreshments for the children as I had travelled before and knew you have to be prepared for the worst.
"By this point I was feeling pretty horrendous having not eaten for 24 hours. I was literally running on empty after hours holding my baby girl in my arms since getting off the plane.
"I was about to pass out so had no choice but to put her on a blanket on the floor. I was stood next to her and my partner was looking after my three-year-old son.
"We asked numerous times if we could have the pushchairs and even said we would get them off the plane ourselves if we could, but they would not let us."
The initial flight from Dalaman had been disrupted due to a delay caused by bad weather from another flight from Corfu.
TUI has said it is investigating delays with baggage reclaim and transfers at Birmingham.
The airline arranged transport for all customers to return to Norwich and will explain how they can claim compensation as well as offering a £100 voucher to everyone affected.
Ms Rose and her partner had to have the children on their laps on the journey back to Norwich as there were no car seats available.
The family has a big family holiday booked through Jet2 which Ms Rose hopes will be a better experience.
She said: "I am trying not to panic about it. If I thought about it then it would stop me travelling for a long time.
"The children did enjoy the holiday and it's about experiences for them so that is why I am determined."