Yorkshire couple forced to cancel honeymoon because aircraft 'downsizing' meant their plane was too small

A Yorkshire couple have been forced to cancel their honeymoon because a late plane swap meant the aircraft was too small to take them.

Alex and Willow Rymer, from Harrogate, had booked to fly with TUI to one of the travel company's own resorts on Cape Verde from Manchester Airport.

Yet they were among 26 passengers who were no longer allowed to fly because a Dreamliner aircraft had been 'downsized' and replaced with a smaller Boeing 767.

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They were left at the boarding gate because six passengers had not been informed in advance of the overbooking, with the others having been told not to travel to the airport.

Alex and Willow Rymer, from Harrogate

Mr Rymer, 52, is a carer for his 94-year-old mother and had arranged respite care for the duration of the holiday, as well as paying cattery fees for his pet and airport hotel and parking costs.

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Although TUI have refunded the flights, the amount is based on the price they paid two years ago, as the honeymoon was postponed due to Covid restrictions - meaning it is now less than the rate of inflation.

Problems arose during the online check-in process, when an error message came up and Mr Rymer contacted TUI. He was on hold for over an hour before a member of staff told him they could print boarding passes at the airport.

They had already checked their baggage in when they were told that they would not be able to board as some of the overbooked passengers had not already been contacted by TUI.

Mr Rymer is now hoping to secure refunds for the hotel and parking fees, arguing that TUI already knew that their tickets were no longer valid. It is unclear when they will be able to travel to Cape Verde with a rearranged date.

A spokesperson for TUI said: "We would like to apologise for the inconvenience to our customers on flight TOM586 from Manchester to Sal, Cape Verde, on Sunday 22 May who were affected by an aircraft change due to operational issues.

"We contacted affected customers as soon as we became aware of the change, offering the options to cancel their holiday for a full refund, amend their holiday with an incentive or change onto an alternative flight.

"We understand how frustrating and disappointing this will have been and are very sorry for the inconvenience caused."