The Gatwick to Goa flight due to arrive on Sat. 14th Feb was delayed by 32 hours due to fog at Dabolim and being diverted to Mumbai. What was appalling however were the events that followed and the dreadful handing of the situation by Thomson. Even worse, they are not accepting responsibility for any of it.
On landing at Mumbai we were left sitting in the plane on the tarmac for eight hours! There was no food on board, and by the end water was being rationed. The only "food" provided all day were bags of sweets. By the end many passengers were distressed and just wanted to go home. Some were feeling unwell, and there were quite a few children on board as it was half term week. We got very little information, with the crew saying they did not know what to do and were waiting for decisions from Thomson in the UK. In the meantime two other fights that were also redirected took off quickly for Goa once the fog had lifted (Monarch and a charter flight from Moscow).
We were finally told what we all knew was inevitable - we were to be put in hotels that night in Mumbai. The following process was complete chaos - a leaderless herd of passengers following each other around the airport looking for someone from Thomson to take charge of the situation and to provide some information. Eventually we found someone outside the airport who got us to hotels in batches using one coach. He was from a Mumbai-based agency.
It was a horrible, stressful experience that could not have been handled any more badly. What was even more insulting is that all passengers were given a letter on arrival in Goa the next day (we did not leave Mumbai until almost 3pm, ruining another day of our holiday). It basically stated that Thomson was not to blame for the 32 hour delay, and offered no apology. It simply stated that we should contact our insurance companies if we wanted compensation. Mine is not interested, and has said I should take it up with Thomson.
I lost 2 days of my 7-day holiday, and needed another two to get into anything approaching a holiday mood. When I had finally relaxed I got my departure details shoved under my door by the Thomson rep. hoping I'd had a lovely time.
Thomson seemed to prioritise avoiding admitting responsibility and trying to avoid additional costs over the well-being of their passengers or providing support. They also failed to be responsive in a timely manner in making a decision to allow us off the plane. A horrible experience for all concerned which revealed real problems with the way Thomson operate.
Any comments or shared experiences of fellow passengers welcome!