THE friends of a couple who were on holiday when their six-year-old daughter and her grandmother were killed in a car crash at home say they are “disgusted” at the lack of compassion shown by the travel company.
Julie and Darren Wood, of Gwersyllt, were on a short trip with friends to Tenerife last month when they heard Olivia had been killed in a two-car smash in Spital, Wirral, on March 8, along with Darren’s mother Linda Wood, 59, and three others.
That day their friends contacted their travel company, Tui, to get them home.
Tui owns Thomson and First Choice and four of the six were travelling with Thomson.
Michelle Derosa, who was with them, said: “I was left disgusted at the sheer lack of service and compassion extended by Tui. We were in shock and needed help to get home quickly.”
She claims the following morning their hotel rep arrived 30 minutes late, despite knowing of their situation.
The group had spent the night scouring the internet for flights home and found a flight to Manchester that afternoon and insisted they be put on standby for it.
Michelle added: “We were left shocked that we were having to make the phone calls and do the groundwork that they should be doing.”
Luckily there was space on the flight, but, rather than Tui invoicing the group later, they had to pay 1,200 euros upfront and use every credit and debit card they had on them because the maximum they could withdraw was 300 euros.
She claims the Tui rep then failed to inform the cabin crew of the family’s ordeal.
Michelle said: “What shocked the whole party was the lack of compassion for the horrific ordeal we were experiencing.
“However, we as a party would like to commend Debbie, chief flight attendant, and her crew, who sprung into action once we had informed them of our tragic situation.”
A Thomson spokesman said: “Thomson is concerned to learn of Ms Derosa’s disappointment with the way her party was dealt with when their holiday to Tenerife was tragically cut short.
“Although it is our understanding that our team in Tenerife did their utmost to support the party, we can only apologise that, on this occasion, the customers felt that we did not deliver the appropriate level of assistance and comfort.
“We wish to extend our sincere condolences to the family.”