Couple wrongly stopped from flying out on dream £2k engagement honeymoon to India just one hour before flight

A COUPLE have received a payout from holiday company TUI after they were wrongly stopped from jetting off for their engagement party in India just an HOUR before boarding – because of a passport blunder.

John Swallow, 55, and his fiancée Amanda Bickerstaffe, 48, had forked out almost £2000 to join six friends for a two-week holiday in Goa.

Amanda Bickerstaffe and John Swallow were stopped from flying on their dream holiday

The group were enjoying some celebratory drinks in the VIP lounge at Manchester Airport when they were approached by a TUI representative, who told them they weren’t allowed to board.

Amanda was horrified to be told “India wouldn’t let them in” because her passport was five days short of the six months required to travel – despite already being issued an Indian visa.

The couple were then escorted back to the VIP lounge to say goodbye to their friends, who thought it was a prank, before getting their bags which had been taken off the plane. They were then escorted out of the airport.

Bricklayer John, who said they had planned on buying their engagement and wedding rings out there, told The Sun: “We were absolutely devastated. The whole group was in floods of tears.

The couple received a document saying the visa had been granted

“We were supposed to be celebrating but instead we were left feeling like criminals. They literally escorted us out of the airport – it was so embarrassing.

“We hadn’t done anything wrong. It was a disgrace from start to finish.”

Despite John’s passport being within what the airline considered the allowed time to travel, he too was told he was not allowed to fly.

John said: “It didn’t even cross my mind until we got home that there was nothing wrong with my passport. We were just in shock”.

As soon as they got home they phoned Hays Travel, the company they had booked through, who confirmed that they wouldn’t have been granted visas if there was anything wrong with their passports.

John said: “They said it is absolutely 180 days from application of visa as the Indian Government documents state.”

They considered travelling to Liverpool to renew Amanda’s passport through a one-day fast track service but TUI said they still wouldn’t allow them to fly home on the flights they’d already booked.

John added: “They’d banned us. It was too risky flying out with another airline in case they were true to their word and didn’t let us fly home.

“None of it made any sense.

“It didn’t just ruin our holiday but also our friends’. Everyone was going for our engagement.

“The advert on the TV really winds me up. It says that they ‘cross the T’s and dot the I’s and put you in the middle, so you don’t have to do anything except enjoy your holiday’ which is a load of rubbish.

“Our dream engagement celebration holiday was ruined for no reason whatsoever other than incompetency.

“We’re relieved we’ve received some money back but it doesn’t come close to what we’ve lost and the stress it’s caused.

“I won’t be booking with them again.”

Having already booked the time off work, the couple, of Bolton, Gtr Manchester, forked out a further £1000 for a last-minute trip to Fuerteventura, flying out a few days later.

But they said the holiday was “awful” knowing their pals were in Goa.

TUI denied any wrongdoing following the incident in November 2016 but after taking legal action, the couple have won £524 in compensation.

Read full originally story at The Sun

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