TUI has apologised to a family of six after they were left stranded in an Italian airport with “no choice of food” for 12 hours.
Hollie Sheldon and her family were travelling from Turin to Manchester after a Christmas skiing holiday in the Italian city.
The plane that was due to take the family home on Boxing Day had been held up at Manchester Airport for several hours due to technical issues, the Manchester Evening News reports.
The original flight departure time was supposed to be 11.50am – but it left 12 hours later.
Although holidaymakers TUI gave the family vouchers for food which could only be spent in one place.
This was just £10 per person, so she had to spend £70 of her own money because the selections was so limited.
Her son, who is coeliac, was only able to each sushi – at a cost of £20 – due to there being no gluten-free options available.
The mum-of-four said: “As we were eating, we got an email that said our flight was going to be delayed and we were going to get a food voucher.
“We went through security and then it was just delay after delay – we were given updates via email and text rather than from anyone in person."
“There really wasn't a lot of choice there.
“Then we got another £6 voucher, and I asked if there were any alternative provisions because my son is coeliac, but there was nothing gluten free.
“A lot of other people were saying they were really restricted on what they could buy."
After the flight was delayed once more, they were given another £15 voucher for food and drink, but had to wait 20 minutes in a queue, which meant that the food had “pretty much run out” once she got to the front of it”.
To make matters worse, once they did eventually get onto the flight, they had had all of their seats changed – meaning that the family had been split up.
She described the experience as a “complete nightmare”, and a “complete shambles”.
A spokesman for TUI said: “We’re sorry to hear of Ms Sheldon’s experience in Turin following her delayed flight to Manchester yesterday.
“Our teams worked extremely hard to offer assistance to all customers throughout the delay and provided them with refreshment vouchers.
“Unfortunately, the choice of food options available in the airport is beyond our control.
“As an alternative aircraft had to be sourced due to the delay, we were only able to provide snacks onboard for customers.
“We know delays are a frustrating experience for customers, and we would once again like to apologise to Ms Sheldon and thank her for her patience and understanding.”
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