Family forced to sit on floor during flight due to airline mishap
A British family returning home from vacation was forced to sit on the floor during a TUI Airways flight due to what the airline claims was a last-minute scheduling mishap in June.
Paula Taylor, of Alcester, Warwickshire, told the BBC's show "Rip-Off Britain" that she and her family arrived 3 hours early to check in for their flight from Menorca, Spain, to Birmingham, England, to ensure they could all sit together.
Taylor, 44, told the show that she, her husband Ian, 55, and their 10-year-old daughter all received boarding passes, marked row 41, seats D, E and F — but when they boarded the aircraft, there was an empty space where their assigned seats should have been
"We all just looked at each other as if to say, 'Where's our seats gone?'" Taylor said.
The couple's young daughter was eventually given the last free seat on the flight, while Taylor and her husband were offered two spare flip-up chairs meant for crewmembers, the Telegraph reports. However, once the plane had taken off, the couple was forced to vacate the area and sit on the floor of the aircraft so flight attendants could access items stored behind the seats.
"It's hard and it's uncomfortable and it's just filthy," Taylor said of her unconventional seating arrangement. "It's just not an experience I ever want to repeat."
Taylor says she contacted the airline immediately after the incident with photo proof of what happened but was only offered a £30 (about $38) "goodwill gesture" for the inconvenience.
The company later offered the Taylors a full £1,300 (about $1,600) refund after it was contacted by "Rip-Off Britain."
The German airline later blamed the mishap on a "last minute aircraft change" and said it would be further investigating the incident.