Wednesday, 24 Feb 2021

Couple forced to leave Lanzarote over Covid fears dumped 150 miles from home

A husband and wife spent Boxing Day ‘abandoned' in an airport 150 miles from their home after their festive getaway to Lanzarote was cut short.

Brenda and Tony McManus coughed up £2,500 for their annual two-week festive trip – but were told on Christmas day that they had to leave the island.

According to the couple, Jet2 told them they had to get home nine days earlier than planned over Spanish fears of the mutated Coronavirus.

On returning to the UK, the fuming pair, from East Kilbride, Scotland, say they found themselves stuck at Newcastle International Airport because their bus home as full.

Brenda moaned to the Daily Record : “It was just an absolute shambles and a disgrace what they did to us. We’ve used Jet2 a few times but I think we’ll use someone else next time.”

It had not even been a week into their summer-sun getaway when the travel operator ordered British tourists to leave.

New Spanish government rules meant all UK holiday makers had to vacate, Brenda said.

Europe began cutting ties with Britain last week after a mutated strain of Coronavirus began ravaging the country.

Grandmother-of-two Brenda, 57, said she and Tony, 55, had to be flown into Teesside because there were no flights available to Glasgow.

Brenda added: “We were told there would be a bus waiting for us to take us home but they ran out of seats on the bus. There were 18 of us left stranded.

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"When we found out that the coach was full, the girl said to us that they didn't know how many people they had going to Glasgow.

"Eventually they ended up getting us a taxi but the first one wouldn't take us to Glasgow."

Fielding frantic calls from their daughter and grandson, Brenda, 57, and Tony, 55, anxiously waited to find out if alternative transport would be arranged by the airline.

She added: "Around two hours later, they put six of us in another taxi to send us to Glasgow.

"They brought us home because of coronavirus but they put three separate couples in a taxi.

"It doesn't make sense. We all just looked at each other when they said 'there's your taxi'.

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"I said to the guy from Jet2 that I thought it was against the rules to have these separate households together but he said there was nothing they could do.

Brenda and Tony – who flew out to the Canary Islands despite the pandemic to continue a 20-year tradition – eventually got home at 1.45am on Sunday.

They usually jet out to their favourite getaway spot three times a year, but their trips have been hampered this year due to Brenda’s immune system.

They took £150 tests prior to flying out earlier this month.

Jet2 and several other airlines cancelled their outbound flights to Spain due to the new travel restrictions.

An airline spokesperson said despite the restrictions it would be continuing to "operate a revised programme of inbound flights so that customers can return to the UK".

"We also contacted customers in resort to advise them of their options.

"Nobody wants customers to be on holiday enjoying themselves more than we do. We can assure Jet2holidays customers that if they have not been able to stay the number of nights on holiday that they had originally booked, they will be refunded for those nights.

"It is important to note that we are responding to a very fast-moving situation, with updates coming from governments with little or no notice, and we are making operational decisions accordingly."

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