Family on ski trip forced to sleep outside airport in -2C after TUI flight delay

A family returning from a skiing trip at the Alps say they were forced to sleep outside in the freezing cold after their TUI flights home were delayed by bad weather .

Ben Denton, from Whitford, Clwyd, says he and his family spent 13 hours at Chambery Airport, in the French Alps, on Saturday waiting to return to Manchester Airport.

The skier added that seven hours were spent outside the tiny airport building, as temperatures plummeted to -2C.

Mr Denton, who spent thousands on his week-long trip, shared shocking photographs of his children lying on a makeshift bed made from ski equipment bags.

The dad was forced to buy a £60 fur blanket at the airport to keep them warm.

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Hours later, the family were finally told to go to a sports hall where the Red Cross provided camp beds, blankets and food for hundreds of stranded passengers.

On Saturday, Ben complained to Crystal Ski Holidays, who are owned by TUI, on Facebook writing: “So been at Chambery Airport for 13 hours, our fight cancelled.

“Standing outside for seven hours." Referring to one of his children, he added: "Arabella bloody freezing!

“Nobody has a clue what’s going on where we are staying. Staff look like rabbits in headlights and half of them have disappeared.

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“It is a complete shambles. Everybody kicking off and l been told to stop filming. Ha what a laugh.

“Just had to buy Arabella a blanket for £60. Dire situation. come on Crystal (Ski Holidays) sort it out.

“Lots of very small children outside cold.”

Hours later he wrote: “So now we are all going to a gym emergency accommodation why the f*** didn’t they tell me at 1.00pm so we could of got a taxi ourselves and go to a decent hotel.”

The family were later transferred to a conference centre in Grenoble where Mr Denton filmed the driver using his phone to text whilst driving.

They finally arrived back home on Monday when Ben updated his post, writing: “It was a terrible experience and they are saying it was bad due to the fog but planes were landing all day.”

The photographs of the shocking experience attracted dozens of comments from social media users.

Lowri Sian Pope wrote: “Standing outside? That’s ridiculous! They won’t let you travel in adverse weather conditions but will let you stand in the freezing cold? Awful!”

Gemma Rae said: “Thank god you were able to get a blanket for Arabella. Hope everyone gets sorted out including other families.”

Graham Haughton wrote: “Feeling for you guys. We had a bad experience with TUI and no compensation.

“We will never holiday again with them.

“Really hope you get some good luck and a warm bed for the kids soon.”

Dozens of other stranded customers also took to Facebook to complain about the situation.

On Saturday evening, Howard Perks wrote: “We have now been here for 16 hours.

“The terminal is freezing, many are outside where it's seriously cold, now women are in tears trying to comfort young children.

“There's been no hot food for hours, we are told there will be hotel rooms made available but then some are told they will be taken to camp in a sports hall.

“The weather is not Tui's fault but this shameful shambles at Chambery is. Today will cost the company greatly, which is the only shred of comfort I can think of right now.”

Mirror Online has contacted Tui for a comment.

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