A MUM-of-four said her family’s dream half-term trip rapidly turned into a nightmare after a holiday company left them stranded in a Tunisian airport.
Virginia Hobson said the ordeal left her family without “a penny to our name” after Love Holidays made them miss their flight home before ignoring her pleas for help.
3Virginia Hobson said her family’s ‘best holiday ever’ quickly turned into a nightmareCredit: Virginia Hobson3The family-of-six was left stranded in TunisiaCredit: Virginia Hobson3The Lincolnshire family said they were ‘devastated’ by the airport fiascoCredit: Virginia HobsonThe mum, from Lincolnshire, said the chaos “completely ruined” what was her family’s “best holiday ever”.
Their travel misery began when a company-arranged taxi to the airport failed to show up on time, causing the family to miss their flight home.
However, Virginia was stunned to then be abandoned by Love Holidays as she pleaded with them to help her family get home.
Messages from the company’s help desk reveal that she was told: “You missed your flight… we won’t be able to help you out”.
The mum said she was forced to empty her savings and credit cards for extra plane tickets alongside added hotel, dog kennel and airport parking fees.
Virginia has now slammed the travel company’s reaction and said she is furious after the nightmare situation cost her around £2,500.
She told The Sun: “I was just shocked.
“It has been very stressful and emotional… it’s their fault, they arranged the transport, its their ownership.
“All they have said so far is just that ‘you’ve missed your flight, it’s on you, there is nothing we can do'”.
Virginia said despite explaining the taxi fiasco to Love Holidays’ online ‘live chat’ help desk, she was astonished with the company’s response – adding they then “just turned off the online chat”.
“That was it, end of, they weren’t taking any responsibility for what happened”, she said.
“You speak to these robots or whoever is on these ‘live chats’, and they don’t care.
“So we were stuck in the airport, with no flight, no hotel, no nothing”.
Despite eventually booking a flight four days after their original departure date, the mum emphasised that the devastating delay has caused significant “emotional stress” for the family.
I will never do another package holiday ever again – the emotional stress it has taken on us as a family has been just awfulVirginia Hobson
Virginia said her son Rhys, 18, who has just began his first year at university, is now “absolutely traumatised” by the ordeal.
Despite overcoming mental health issues to successfully win his place at university, he has been warned that the lectures he missed could now lead him to be kicked off his course.
She added that her daughter Aaliyah, 18, has also missed her GCSE retakes while the family were stuck abroad, and Virginia said the whole ordeal has been “devastating”.
She continued: “I’m in shock that they have treated us like this and left us with nothing – just disbelief they have abandoned us in a foreign country.
“When you book a holiday, you then rely on the holiday company as a safeguard if things go wrong, so to be dumped like this was actually very scary.
“I don’t get how cold and how nasty they have reacted, it has been quite a shock.”
Since her travel ordeal, the mum said the financial hit has made her extremely anxious about the cost of living crisis on her return home.
She said: “My credit cards are maxed out, I was paid recently and we already have no money in the bank, and my bills might soon just start to bounce.
“Normally we are quite comfortable in terms of paying everything, but now this month I don’t even know where to begin.
“An extra two grand plus, on top of everything else, it’s just not possible. I don’t know how we’re going to do it this month – it’s just dire.”
A spokesperson for Love Holidays said: “We are very sorry to hear of Ms Hobson’s experience.
“Our in-resort team is available to help customers 24/7, but we apologies that the service provided on this occasion fell short of our usual high standards.
“We are in touch with Ms Hobson and will be reimbursing her in full for any additional expenses she has incurred.”
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk