I wish to complain about the treatment of my son-in-law Ali Soysuren, formerly of 9 Isca Street, Beswick, Manchester M11 3RN who boarded the 07.00 flight from Manchester International Airport to Izmir, Turkey on 16th October 2010.
Ali, booked a flight online a few days before departure to voluntarily remove himself having been refused a Visa. He arrived at the airport with his wife and baby daughter and myself where he was to be given his passport. Following check in he was advised to wait by baggage for further instruction. A Thomas Cook representative who was later identified as ‘Mags’ by her desk colleagues joined us a full seventy minutes before the scheduled departure time and immediately informed him that he had two minutes to say his goodbyes. Rightly or wrongly I reacted to her brusque manner and far from attempting to diffuse the situation she chose to fuel it.
I am not an expert on immigration or deportation procedures but I firmly believe that if legislation requires a two minute time constraint then this should be administered by Border Control who are trained in dealing with sensitive situations. If the seventy minute window was indeed cutting it fine, then the blame lies with the desk staff ,as we arrived at the airport at 05.00 and despite there only being one person in the queue and a succession of staff coming and going, Ali was not provided with the necessary paperwork until 05:40.
My experience of travelling with Thomas Cook has prior to this event been an enjoyable experience. I would however suggest that in the light of the most recent occurence that staff receive adequate training prior to undertaking the duty of escorting persons subject to immigration control.
Please find attached a letter I have written to the Manchester Evening News to highlight this problem.