A British taxi driver is furious at being stranded in Thailand after his tour operator canceled his flight home.
Midlands’ Paul Henstock has revealed he was meant to be on a dream vacation after tragedy nearly left him permanently disabled.
The 54-year-old said he had saved a lot for the 10-week trip after an accident in the Philippines left him in hospital for almost four months. But now the dream holiday has turned into a nightmare for the Nottinghamshire man after he learned his flight home had been canceled via a text message from online travel agency lastminute.com.
The Mapperley Park taxi driver flew from Gatwick Airport, London, to Thailand on July 5 and was due to return home on September 11 on a Singaporean airline, Scoot. He spent £525 (22,200 baht) on tickets on lastminute.com.
“I have booked a ten week holiday to travel to Thailand. I am due to return home on Sunday 11th September, which is to say in a few days. But on Wednesday morning I woke up to a text message from lastminute. com saying my flight was cancelled.
“I kept buying SIM cards. It took an hour. And then it took 42 minutes to ring Singapore. I was basically offered the refund which was around £480 or a travel voucher and more. It wouldn’t put me on another flight. They couldn’t do it.
“The cheapest direct flight on this date is £1285. I was angry because I can afford to fix it, but there were families on that flight too.
“On September 18, my visa expires, so I have to leave Thailand. The only way I’ve managed to do this and get it for a decent price is to fly on the 18th, the day my visa expires.
“I have to fly to Finland to get back to the UK. It still costs me just under £800, so £480 doesn’t even cover that flight.”
Henstock said he had worked and saved hard for years to get the vacation of his dreams. It was his reward for learning to walk again after ending up in a Manila hospital for 14 weeks in 2018.
“It was my dream to come back to a surfboard I made, silver clouds at the end of a rainbow and all that. I saved my money a lot and that was my big thing and they just dropped it on me.
Lastminute.com and airline Scoot were unavailable for comment.
THE SOURCE: Nottingham Post