TUI pilot turns plane around to pick up traveller’s passport

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Adrian Insley said his perfect holiday in Tenerife almost ended badly after losing his daughter’s passport at the airport. The 38-year-old man was due to board a TUI flight with his partner Rebecca Thomson, their four children and Adrian’s parents when he realised he’d left his daughter’s passport in the duty free shopping area.

His family was able to board but his seven-year-old daughter became “emotionally distressed” at watching her father wait at the gate.

Mr Insley found the passport but, by which time, the gate closed and the dad was told he could no longer get on the scheduled flight.

The plane reached the runway when a decision was made to turn around to collect Mr Insley, an account manager, which delighted his despairing family.

Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, his mum Sharon Insley, 60, said: “I was impressed with the staff, who were so caring and tried to calm down the grandchildren who were crying. They said that Adrian could get on the next flight to Manchester if there is space, they were just so kind and understanding.

“They have gone to speak to the captain and ask about the logistics of it. At this point we were ready to take off, it was right before the runway.

“And then the steward asked if we could tell Adrian to come to the gate, so we could pick him up. I was gobsmacked because I have never ever in all my time flying, ever known that they can come back for you.

“They then apologised saying they would not be able to put Adrian’s luggage back on. We said we do not care, it was amazing, just incredible.”

Mr Insley finally boarded the flight for East Midlands Airport and has since expressed his gratitude to the airline.

TUI said the work highlights the “incredible dedication of colleagues”.

But recalling the initial trauma, Mr Insley, of Ilkeston, Derbyshire, said: “My children were crying, my partner was crying. The reps on the other planes asked all the passengers to check their bags.

“I was happy to get the passport back at least, but that’s when the situation got more interesting.”

His mother, from Watnall, Nottinghamshire, continued: “We had an amazing holiday and everything was top notch, obviously just a bit of trauma.

“I have actually tried to thank TUI, but they have only got a portal for complaints. When all you hear about the travel industry is doom and gloom, we just wanted to share some exceptional customer service our family encountered over the bank holiday weekend.”

A spokesperson for TUI said: “We’re pleased that the Insley family were able to travel on their holiday as planned. This is just another example of the incredible dedication of TUI colleagues who are doing everything they can to get customers away on their holidays.

“We appreciate all of our teams who continue to demonstrate their hard-work and commitment to TUI and its customers.”

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