TUI flight makes emergency landing in Romania; Passengers sleep on airport floor
A TUI flight bound for Rotterdam made an emergency landing in Romania after a collision with a bird on Saturday evening. Most passengers were left to their own devices and forced to sleep on the floors of the Romanian airport, according to the AD.
Flight OR3042 left Antalya, Turkey around 6:53 p.m. on Saturday, according to the AD. The plane was forced to make an unscheduled landing in the Romanian capital two hours later after birds flew into the cockpit window, nearly shattering it. Passenger Kim Heijdenrijk called it an "uncontrolled hard emergency landing" on Twitter and noted that there was "slight panic" onboard among the other passengers.
After the landing, passengers waited for the next two hours to leave the aircraft. When they were allowed to enter the airport, they found it difficult to contact the airline about accommodations and were given "conflicting information," according to the AD. Some employees told them there would be no overnight stay –– which turned out to be false. Then, TUI sent a text message with information to passengers on the wrong flight. "Meanwhile, my elderly mother is sitting on the cold floor of the gate," tweeted Heijdenrijk.
En @TUINederland appt mensen op de verkeerde vlucht en niet naar ons. Tjonge...— ᴋɪᴍ ʜᴇɪᴊᴅᴇɴʀɪᴊᴋ (@KimHeijdenrijk) September 17, 2022
Bij toeval ging een collega van een medepassagier met die vlucht en horen we ervan. Ondertussen zit mijn bejaarde moeder op de koude vloer van de gate. Van een hotel hebben we nog niets vernomen... pic.twitter.com/4wAtyY97mp
While the passengers scrambled to find more information, the cabin crew had already left for a hotel that had been booked for them. “Something was arranged just for them. We had to gather all the information ourselves," passenger Arjan van 't Hof told the AD.
At 2 a.m., TUI sent passengers a text message telling them to book hotels for themselves. However, Heijdenrijk observed that most of the passengers did not have a proper visa that would allow them to leave the airport.
A pregnant woman and couple were taken to a hotel, but most passengers spent the night on the floor or in chairs in the airport hall. "Mothers had no access to baby food and diapers, the elderly were without medicines," Van 't Hof told the AD.
The TUI passengers expect to leave on a flight to Rotterdam at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday. However, this time was already changed once.
"We are distraught and had to spend the night under bizarre circumstances...we were not allowed to leave the airport at all and could not have access to our luggage at all," said Van 't Hof.