A large group of 150 Irish tourists has been stranded in Greece for days after their flight was canceled three times.
The TUI flight from Rhodes to Dublin was first due to depart on Saturday 28 May, but was canceled a few hours earlier.
The passengers were put up in a hotel overnight with a second flight rescheduled to leave for Dublin airport on Sunday, but that too was cancelled.
A third flight was due to leave today at 6:00 pm local time, but that too did not leave and passengers have since been informed that it will now depart at 4:50 am Tuesday.
Many tourists in the group have not been able to return to work after the flight was canceled several times.
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Pauline Ward from Wicklow, who is part of the stranded group along with her husband and two children, told the Irish Mirror how passengers were affected by the travel disruptions: “I’m self-employed so I should be at work , my husband should be at work,” she said.
“Today there is a woman here who ran out of medicine. She was really serious, she had to get the medication from her. She got it, but it’s stuff like that.
“We are fed up and we want to go home.”
She said the most frustrating thing has been the lack of information from TUI and being taken to the airport each time to find the flight had been canceled again.
“We’re constantly packing up, constantly taking bits out of the bag, we’re going around in circles,” he said.
“And there is no information from anyone. We are receiving information from the Irish Embassy. TUI has not been in contact.”
TUI blamed “operational problems” and “the sudden increase in people going on holiday” for the cancellations, but is facing a number of customer complaints online.
Paddy Cunningham, who has friends in the group stuck on Rhodes, tweeted to the travel company, writing: “There are a huge number of people stranded with no way home. Absolutely shocking.”
In a statement to the Irish Mirror, a TUI spokesperson said: “We would like to apologize to customers traveling on flight TOM1651 from Rhodes to Dublin, which was unable to depart as scheduled on Saturday 28 May due to operational issues.
“All affected customers were offered welfare vouchers, overnight accommodations and provided meals while we worked on a new flight plan.
“We were in regular contact with customers and informed them of their new departure time as soon as we could. The flight will now depart for Dublin at 04:50 local time on Tuesday 31 May.
“The May mid-term break is always an incredibly busy period with many customers looking to get away, and this year is no different. We understand that many of our customers were looking forward to this break, as it is the first peak period in over two years that has been unaffected by border closures and mass testing requirements.
“While flight delays and cancellations with us are rare, unfortunately the sudden increase in people going on holiday combined with various operational and supply chain issues has meant that a small number of our flights have been affected. “Our teams have been working tirelessly to support affected customers and we continue to work closely with our airport partners to monitor the situation and provide the best possible vacation experience for our customers. We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding at this time.”
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