A woman has hit out at travel operator Tui as it was claimed her disabled mum could not take vital medication on a nine-hour flight. Ellie Fisher, who surprised mum Natalie Williams with a holiday to the Dominican Republic, said staff had refused to serve water on board as a result of Covid, which meant she couldn’t take her medicine.
The pair said their journey with TUI was ruined when they heard about the airline’s strict Covid protocol half an hour into the flight. Due to the pandemic, Tui apparently informed all passengers shortly after take-off that they would only be serving drinks once.
Passengers were offered a cup of water or juice with the scheduled meal but apart from that no other drinks were to be served, Ellie claims. And she alleges there was no pre-warning of the strict water rule on Tui’s website or anywhere else during the booking process.
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Ellie’s mum Natalie needs to take regular medication on a daily basis. But bizarrely, she claims that when she requested a small cup of water to take her pills, staff refused to make an exception to the rule.
Ellie, from Kingston upon Thames, Surrey said: “We were really excited when we got to the airport to finally be going away after all the restrictions of the pandemic. “But when we got on board the flight, they told us they weren’t serving drinks outside of the scheduled meal time because of the risk of spreading Covid.
“No one had told us this before, so we didn’t think to grab any water at the airport after we went through security. “Mum has to take medication regularly so this obviously was stressful to hear, but never in a million years did I think it would turn in to such a big problem.
“When we asked politely for a small cup of water for her to swallow her meds, we were rudely told no and that we’d have to wait till we landed. “It was a nine hour flight and it made my mum extremely anxious and uncomfortable.
“The way staff acted was inhumane – how they wouldn’t make an exception to the rule under such circumstances I don’t know. “The consequences could have been dire.”
Natalie and Ellie say they went the entire flight having only had one drink with their meal, and arrived at their destination thirsty and extremely irritated, on January 11. When they returned to the UK a week later, the rules were still in place, but thankfully this time they knew what to expect and came prepared with a bottle of water each.
Information on Tui’s website states that, when meals are served on long-haul flights, customers will get a water cuplet on the tray – and water is served in between meals too. A spokesperson from Tui Airlines said: “We’re very sorry to hear of Ms Williams experience on her flight to the Dominican Republic. “We’re investigating this further with our airline and will be in touch her as soon as possible to resolve this matter.”