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02nd Sep 2022

TUI pilot turns plane around to pick up ‘crying girl’ left behind

Charlie Herbert

TUI pilot turns plane around and flies back to airport to pick up 'crying girl' left behind

The hero they needed

A TUI pilot decided to perform a runway U-turn to pick up a crying girl and her dad who had been “left behind”.

Adrian Insley, his parents, partner and their four children were returning from their holiday in Tenerife when holiday disaster struck after they made a stop at the Duty Free section.

Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, Insley said: “I am very organised with my passport, I even have a bag for them, but this time my partner said she needs a passport to get something from Duty Free, and then she put the passport in the bag.

“Our flight was delayed and the airport was very busy because there were three flights to the UK.

“I am starting to panic because I do not know where it is. And then the realisation set in there. We do not have a passport – we are missing one.”

They had lost their seven-year-old daughter’s passport, meaning that she couldn’t board the plane.

The 38-year-old dad continued: “So I had to send all my family through, and it is just me and my daughter that were left behind because of my daughter’s missing passport.

“So it got a bit hairy because I did not know what to do.

“I have got to find somewhere to stay, I have got to find transport, and I have got to organise for a temporary passport – there is a lot of organising in a very short amount of time.”

When the pilot heard about the passport drama, he decided to take matters into his own hands and save the day (Getty)

By this point, his daughter was becoming increasingly upset as the rest of their family boarded the plane home.

Insley said: “My children were crying, my partner was crying. The reps on the other planes asked all the passengers to check their bags.”

Luckily, the dad and his daughter eventually found the passport, but they thought the plane had already departed.

This was not the case though, with the plane actually still on the way to the runway. When the pilot heard about what had happened, he decided to perform a u-turn and return to the gate.

A member of staff then told Adrian’s mum, Sharon, to get in touch with her son and inform him they were coming back for them.

Sharon said: “I was gobsmacked because I have never ever in all my time flying, ever known that they can come back for you.”

She added: “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 TUI spokesperson 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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