Co-pilot 'helps load luggage to get delayed flight on its way' from Manchester Airport

Video report by Andrew Fletcher

Passengers have praised the 'co-pilot' of a delayed airliner at Manchester Airport who they say has been helping load luggage to try to get the plane underway.

They have called for an award for the worker, who reportedly has been cheered by passengers on the flight which is said to have been delayed by more that 30 hours.

Manchester Airport has been facing fresh disruption at the start of the half-term getaway.

An airport spokesperson said they were aware of delays at check-in and baggage reclaim for some passengers. 

Footage taken by passengers early on Monday 30 May showed a lengthy queue for the TUI bag-drop.

Pictures: @gazza0303

At the weekend one of TUI's flights was cancelled after passengers spent up to eight hours waiting at the airport, with a police officer making the announcement.

Jayesh Patel, who was hoping to travel to Kos, said: "It was definitely pretty heated, this was now about nine o'clock. We'd been in the airport since noon."

"I'm not surprised the police had to turn up because there was a lot of shouting, a lot of people getting quite upset and quite teary," he added.

Pictures: Cate Marsden

A spokesperson for TUI said: "We would like to apologise for the inconvenience to our customers on flight TOM2680 from Manchester and Kos, on Saturday 28 May who were delayed to a combination of factors causing significant operational disruption.

"Unfortunately, we felt the impact to customers' holidays was too great and took the difficult decision to cancel the flight.

"We contacted affected customers as soon as we became aware of the change and all customers will receive a full refund within 14 days.

"We understand how disappointing and frustrating this is and we do apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Gemma Clark and her family, who are from Stockport, were due to fly to Turkey on Friday 27 May.

The party, including two young children, spent more than 12 hours at the airport before her flight was cancelled.

TUI apologised to passengers on Gemma's flight, saying there were "operational issues."

It said: "The May half-term holidays are always an incredibly busy period with many customers looking to get away.

"While flight delays and cancellations with us are rare, unfortunately various operational and supply chain issues, has meant that a small number of our flights have been impacted.

"Our teams have been working to support affected customers and we’d like to thank customers for their patience and understanding during this time."

A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “We are aware of challenges being faced by a number of airlines and handling agents, which is leading to delays at check-in and baggage reclaim for some passengers. 

“Airlines and their ground handlers are responsible for their own check-in and baggage handling services. 

"Passengers are advised to direct any questions or concerns about these issues, or anything relating to their flight, to their airline, who will be best placed to respond. 

“However, this is not the experience we want passengers to have at Manchester Airport and we are sorry to hear customers have faced disruption. 

Queues of passengers at Manchester Airport - 30 May. Credit: MEN Media

“We are in contact with the senior management teams of the relevant airlines and ground handlers to understand the cause of these issues, and to support their efforts to resolve them as quickly as possible.

“Our colleagues are on hand in the terminal to provide assistance to customers and we are working hard to ensure security waiting times are as quick as possible.