At least sixteen passengers on a TUI flight from Greece to Cardiff in Wales tested positive for covid-19, reports the BBC. All 193 passengers were urged to go into self-isolation.
The plane flew on August 25 from holiday island Zakynthos back to Cardiff with seven people on board who were potentially contagious at the time, the British health authorities say.
According to the passengers it was a mess on board and the corona rules were not enforced by the cabin crew. “Many people took off their mouth masks and walked down the aisle to have a chat with others,” says passenger Stephanie Whitfield. “The flight was full of ‘covidiots’ and an incompetent crew who didn’t care.” Another passenger found a used tissue in the seatbag in front of him “so the plane wasn’t properly cleaned.”
Things also went wrong at the airport, according to passenger Lee Evans. “Airport staff grabbed passengers’ phones to check boarding passes”. There wouldn’t have been enough distance during the check-in process either.
“I don’t know exactly what happened on that flight because it was carried out by TUI-UK, but I absolutely don’t recognise this image”, says Petra Kok of TUI-Nederland.
“On the contrary, we are very strict on the enforcement of mouth caps. No mouthguards on, not with us.” According to Kok the passengers should stay seated during the flight as much as possible and keep their mouth caps on. “The hand luggage no longer goes into the lockers above the seats, but has to fit under the seat in front of you so that people don’t get up all the time to grab something out of their bag. And of course you can take the cap off during the meal, but after that you just have to put it back on again”
Meals are now simpler so that the number of moments of interaction with passengers is kept as low as possible and there is as little walking through the aisles as possible for both crew and passengers. “You can go to the toilet, but we don’t want any more queues in front of the toilets like we used to. So you can only get up to go to the toilet if it is free. We really all pay attention to that,” says Kok.
Testing as soon as possible
Many passengers are angry about the long time it took TUI to contact them about the infections. “It only happened after five days. I really can’t tell you how many people I’ve been in contact with in that time”, one of the passengers sighs.
Meanwhile, the number of infected passengers has risen from seven to sixteen. Although it cannot be established that the new infections have occurred on board the aircraft, the British health authorities advise everyone to take a test as soon as possible, even if they have no complaints.