TUI holiday luggage mistake leaves Bolton family without medication

A family of Halliwell holidaymakers have expressed frustration after learning they will have to wait up to 10 days to collect their luggage, which includes life-saving medicine.

Joanne Bladen-Kay, 50, her husband Tony, 52, and their son Owen, 18, returned to Manchester Airport from Madeira at 2.30am on Saturday after a two-week holiday.

But after landing and waiting to return home from the flight, which was delayed for an hour, they were greeted by an empty baggage carousel.

They have now been told they have to wait between seven and ten days a week to collect their belongings, including medicine.

Ms Bladen-Kay, 50, head teacher at St Andrews CE Primary School in Eccles, said: ‘My husband has four different types of medicine in our luggage, some of which are liquid and over the hand luggage limit.

“We don’t know what to do, TUI advised us to go to the doctor… on a Saturday.

“It’s hard enough to see a GP, 111 is always busy and if they have it at the pharmacy it’s still going to cost us over £10 per prescription.

“Why is it so difficult, our bags are right there, on the other side of passport control.

“Three flights landed at the same time and all TUI passengers got off the plane to collect our luggage.

“We were greeted by a huge pile of letters circulating explaining that because they had no staff at this end in Manchester they were holding our luggage.

“We had to complete an online baggage recognition form saying it would be sent to us in seven to ten days.”

After returning home and visiting TUI in Bolton, Ms Bladen-Kay said she was told freight company Swissport was to blame for the problem as well as Covid.

She said she was then told that she was only insured for outbound baggage.

Ms Bladen-Kay said: ‘The TUI staff member checked our insurance and it turns out that the insurance we bought with the holiday, with TUI, would only cover outbound luggage or in the event of theft.

“My son can’t go to work now unless he goes out and buys a new pair of shoes because his others are still at Manchester airport.”

The frustrating experience comes as Manchester Airport ranks third on the list of worst airports for lost luggage.

She said: “It’s so hot this week and we’re not rich enough to have a summer and winter wardrobe, all my summer clothes are there, along with my son’s work shoes and all my husband’s medications.

“The lady from TUI told us that we should have put important things in our hand luggage.

“My son can’t put work shoes in there in case they don’t return our bags, and my husband can’t put his medicine in his hand luggage because the limit is exceeded.

“If it was two or three days I would be able to figure it out, but ten to seven is ridiculous and we don’t know what to do.”

In response, a TUI spokesperson said: “We fully understand the frustration of customers traveling on TOM2537 from Madeira to Manchester who have experienced a delay in receiving their baggage, due to staffing issues at Madeira airport. Manchester.

“We are working closely with baggage handlers to help resolve the issue as quickly as possible and affected customers will receive their baggage within the next few days.

“Due to staffing issues with ground handling providers at Manchester Airport, baggage handlers were unable to unload all baggage from the aircraft

“All customers on the flight have received a message addressing the issue and asked to provide their contact details so that their luggage can be returned to them as soon as possible.

“Customers should check with their travel insurance provider to see if they can make a claim.

“If customers wish to make a complaint through TUI, this can be done online at the website

“Customers must make a complaint in writing within 21 days of the date of delivery of their baggage.”

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