A family from Lincolnshire had to pay hundreds of pounds more for a holiday to Disneyland Florida, after the announced closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
Doncaster Sheffield Airport is set to close down after owners The Peel Group said the site would “wind down” flights from October 31 due to a “fundamental lack of financial viability” – brought on by low passenger numbers.
The airport was left in a near-impossible recovery situation after Wizz Air pulled operations from DSA earlier this year, leaving the site with just one base carrier – TUI.
TUI announced that its final flights from the airport would be on November 4, meaning customers on flights after that date were left in a precarious situation with their holidays hanging in the balance.
The airline is contacting customers in departure date order, offering either a rescheduled flight at a different airport, or a refund on their travel costs.
One of those customers is 61-year-old Bryn Jones, who works on operating theatres at Lincoln County Hospital – and has been planning to take his family to Disneyland in Florida for a number of years.
He first planned a flight for 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the travel industry altogether and put a halt to that plan.
This meant his flight was rearranged for 2021, which Bryn described as “difficult” due to having to re-book annual leave from the hospital during a difficult fight against the pandemic.
COVID travel restrictions then struck again, meaning Bryn and his family would have to wait even longer for their American trip, rescheduling for 2023 – flying from Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
Bryn told The Lincolnite his children got “more and more disappointed” with each cancellation, and cursed his luck when he heard about the closure of DSA.
“We found out through the media and news reports,” he said. “Our immediate thought was: ‘Here we go again, something else to put the holiday in jeopardy.’
“It was very demoralising as our children’s hopes had been let down twice already, not to mention increasing costs and the drop in the value of the pound now putting a hold on what we can do if we get there.”
Panicked by the news, Bryn went to TUI’s Lincoln branch over the weekend to discuss his options, and eventually agreed for a change of airports for his flight, thanks to the “excellent” staff inside the store.
His family will now fly from Manchester, meaning they can finally get excited for their long-awaited summer holiday to Disneyland – but it has come at a cost.
Bryn added: “We have to book a hotel for the night before as it is an early morning flight. It will be approximately £100 more than from Doncaster Sheffield Airport, plus car parking and travel – so maybe another couple of hundred in total.”