Manchester: TUI pilot loads bags onto plane to end 30-hour delay

TUI co-pilot loads luggage onto plane

People travelling to Crete from Manchester Airport applauded the co-pilot (Pictures: @KLSteve82/ Twitter)

A TUI co-pilot has been hailed a ‘hero’ after he left the cockpit to load bags onto a severely delayed plane to get it back in the air faster.

Footage shows the employee only knows as ‘Simon’ on the tarmac at Manchester Airport in the rain as passengers below say ‘Go on lad’ and ‘This guy is a legend’.

He was praised for going ‘above and beyond’ to get frustrated holidaymakers to their destination on Monday.

Jenny Cook was travelling with her husband Duncan and twins Holy and Charlotte to Crete when they were hit with the nightmare delay.

Their flight to Crete was scheduled for Sunday morning but after boarding the plane and waiting for three hours, they were told to go home ‘without a reason’.

After waiting around for another two hours, the pilot told them the baggage was the issue.

‘Mid-load they were told to unload and the pilot confirmed that we were not able to stay on the plane, she told The Independent. ‘No reason was given. My girls were in tears.’

Jenny says TUI passengers were escorted back through the terminal, where no airline staff appeared to explain the problem.

Instead, they received emails from the agency citing ‘operational issues’ for the cancellation.

‘People started to get emails to say the flight had been moved to the next day,’ she added.

‘My email only arrived arrived when I was in the taxi on the way home later that day. ‘

As they live locally, the Cook family went home and the next morning returned to Manchester Airport for the rescheduled 1.15pm flight only to face more chaos.

Please RT @TUIUK @TUIGroup can we get Simon the co pilot of the TOM2744 flying from Manchester on 30th may an excellence award ? He is out on the tarmac in the rain helping to load the bags to try and get us on our way after 30 hours delay so far. #awardforsimon #customerservice

— Jenny Cook (@actualmrscook) May 30, 2022

TUI co-pilot loads luggage onto plane

The TUI pilot is only known as ‘Simon’ (Picture: @KLSteve82/Twitter)

At around 3pm, their pilot apologised for the delay and told passengers there was a problem with the luggage.

Jenny said: ‘He explained that they were doing everything they could to get the flight out.

‘He said, “My copilot Simon is even loading bags” – so we looked our the window and there he was.’

Impressed by his efforts, the mum-of-two took to Twitter to urge TUI to give the worker an ‘excellence award’.

She added: ‘I’m an HR director and I absolutely love receiving news stories about my people going the extra mile.

‘If Simon was one of my people, I would be shouting about him, it is spectacular.’

Passengers queue for check-in in the underground car park outside Terminal 1 at Manchester Airport

Passengers queue for check-in in the underground car park outside Terminal 1 at Manchester Airport (Picture: LNP)

Passengers at Manchester Airport have not been the only ones facing last-minute delays and cancellations.

More than 150 UK flights were axed on Wednesday and those who could travel were forced to wait in long queues at airports.

TUI is also continuing to cancel six daily departures at Manchester Airport, which represents a quarter of its schedule.

Earlier this week, police were even drafted in to tell its exasperated customers waiting to board their flight that their holiday was cancelled and they had to go home.

A TUI spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of videos shared on social media showing one of our amazing TUIpilots supporting our operation by loading bags onto one of our aircraft bound for Crete from Manchester on 30 May 2022.

‘Whilst not something our pilots would normally do, this video is one example of the incredible dedication of TUI colleagues who are doing everything they can to get customers away on their holidays.

‘We can’t thank him enough for his swift and decisive actions, and we would like to thank all of our teams who continue to demonstrate their hard-work and commitment to TUI and its customers.

‘We understand that we have disappointed some customers with the recent disruption, but we would like to reassure them that we are doing everything we can to get them away on their holidays.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.


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