Plane passengers told to bring own in-flight meals as staff shortages disrupt onboard catering

TUI has warned holidaymakers they should bring their own food and drinks on flights as staff shortages mean there could be no catering onboard

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People flying with TUI have been urged to bring their own food and drinks when travelling with the airline as flights could take off without onboard catering due to staff shortages.

Holidaymakers could have no choice but to pay high prices at airport terminals if they want to eat a meal during short-haul flights as TUI warns customers of disruption due to high levels of Covid staff absences.

The British-German leisure, travel and tourism company warned it could also impact some long-haul flights, with the exception of flights to to Aruba, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Orlando and St Lucia.

Customers have been advised to buy soft drinks over 100ml after they have passed through airport security from one of the duty-free stores.

A TUI flight
A TUI flight

TUI said: "We can confirm that unfortunately due to staff shortages with our catering supplier, there may be limited food and drinks services available onboard TUI Airways short- and mid-haul flights over the coming days.

"Customers may therefore want to bring their own food and soft drinks onboard (no alcohol permitted). Any soft drinks over 100ml will need to be purchased after you have passed through security. Please note this disruption does not affect any long-haul flights to Aruba, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Orlando and St Lucia and meal services on these flights will continue to operate as normal."

World Duty Free at Heathrow Airport
World Duty Free at Heathrow Airport

This comes as the Holiday giant announced today it will not be offering last-minute, low-price deals for the summer amid a recovery in customer demand.

TUI chief executive Fritz Joussen said the company will hold its current pricing, unlike in previous years.

“There will be practically no last-minute deals for this summer,” he told reporters.

“Over the past six weeks, we’ve seen demand beyond 2019. We want to keep that momentum but aren’t going to suddenly shift to discounting.”

TUI said pricing for this summer has increased by 20 percent, but bosses stressed that this was driven by longer holidays and more expensive trips, including five-star hotels, as many people travel again for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.

It came as the company more than halved its losses for the past six months as the rebound in customer numbers accelerated and bookings jumped.