Mum Glenda Powell, 40, said ‘this is the face of a six-year-old who just wants to go home’ (Pictures: Glenda Powell/SWNS)

A family was left stranded in Cyprus for 48 hours after TUI cancelled their flights home twice – with a grim warning issued that airport chaos ‘could last all summer’.

Glenda Powell, 40, uploaded an image of her ‘exhausted’ daughter Freya, 6, in tears because she was unable to return home.

She and husband Stephen have described their situation as an ‘absolute joke’, claiming everyone is talking about having holidays cancelled, but almost no one has mentioned the families not being able to get home.

The couple was due to travel back to Bristol Airport from Paphos, Cyprus with their two young children on Saturday.

But they were left frustrated when they were sent an email saying they would instead be put on the 1.20 am flight to Manchester on May 30, with a coach transfer to Bristol.

Rumours were flying that this flight had already been cancelled as they arrived at Paphos airport.

Glenda, who works as a police officer, said: ‘Sure enough, when we arrived at the airport and unloaded our luggage we did not even enter the airport as the information board displayed that our flight was again cancelled.

‘My daughters burst into tears with the anxiety and just wanted to go home.’

Taking to social media, she added: ‘2nd attempt to get home…So our Manchester flight is cancelled… Literally got off the coach at the airport to be turned straight back round to go back to the same hotel/room… Absolute joke…

‘£tui this is the face of a six-year-old who is exhausted from travelling to an airport at 10pm and just wants to go home we were supposed to get on our flight 24 hours ago.’

Freya, 6, was ‘exhausted’ from the nightmare situation (Picture: Glenda Powell / SWNS)

The family-of-four was promised they would be upgraded to all-inclusive at their hotel – but were disappointed after there was ‘no communication about this at the hotel’.

‘I feel like TUI told us what we wanted to hear just to keep the peace at the time as emotions were running high’, Glenda said.

‘There’s a lot going on in the world which is significantly worse than this but when you save and pay for a service you expect them to follow through.’

TUI then sent Glenda an email offering her family an €8 (£6.82) voucher each to purchase refreshments while they waited.

The family was booked onto a 7:05pm flight on Monday night – but this was delayed by more than an hour, leaving them unconvinced they would get home.

Speaking last night, Glenda said: ‘I won’t be convinced of getting home tonight until the landing gear goes up and we’re in the air and then there’s the dread of Manchester chaos and a long coach trip back to Bristol overnight.

‘By the time we arrive home, if all goes well, we’ll be over 48hrs late.’

Metro.co.uk has contacted Glenda to get an update on the family’s situation.

TUI has offered them £200 each towards another holiday, as well as the standard flight cancellation compensation, but Glenda says she is ‘not really feeling like booking a holiday with them unless this all calms down’.

She has demanded ‘the powers that be step up, put their hands up and apologise properly’.

A formal complaint is yet to be issued as the family is ‘too exhausted’, but they are planning to submit one soon.

Hundreds of other flights have been cancelled as staff shortages spark nightmare queues in UK airports.

Over the weekend, airports were described as ‘total bedlam’ as some missed flights or slept overnight in terminals.

Passengers queue for check-in at Manchester Airport’s Terminal 1 (Picture: Ioannis Alexopoulos/LNP)

Unite, which represents tens of thousands of aviation workers, claims delays at most major airports ‘will be repeated during the half-term holidays and will be even worse during the summer holidays’.

General secretary, Sharon Graham, said: ‘During the pandemic, when airline operators and others in aviation slashed jobs to boost corporate profits, we warned this corporate greed would cause chaos in the industry.

‘The aftermath of mass sackings is now chronic staff shortages across the board. Aviation chiefs need to come clean with the public. This is a crisis of their making.

‘We are determined that workers will not pay for this crisis. Current pay and conditions in the industry are so poor that workers are voting with their feet. It can only be resolved by offering higher wages and better working conditions for staff. Unite is utterly determined to fight for that.’

TUI has issued a statement apologising to customers for flight cancellations.

A spokesperson said on Monday night: ‘We’d like to apologise to customers travelling on flight TOM6677 from Paphos to Bristol which was unable to depart as planned on Saturday 28 May due to operational issues.

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‘All impacted customers were offered welfare vouchers, overnight accommodation and meals while we worked through a new flight plan.

‘”We were in regular contact with customers and advised them of their new departure time as soon as we could. Customers are now due to arrive in Manchester this evening and transport back to Bristol Airport will be provided.

‘We’d like to thank customers for their patience and understanding during this time.’

Metro.co.uk has contacted TUI for further comment.

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