Family’s anger over taxi row

Eddie Breithaupt, of Hindley Green, left stranded at Manchester Airport
Eddie Breithaupt, of Hindley Green, left stranded at Manchester Airport

A WIGAN family say they were left stranded at Manchester Airport when their pre-booked taxi refused to take them home.

The Breithaupts family say they were left without a taxi back to Wigan at 1am following their return from Turkey following a row on the outward journey.

Eddie Breithaupt, of Hindley Green, says he had booked a minibus with Longford Taxis but on the morning they were to fly out, he received a phone call saying they could not send a minibus and would be sending two taxis instead.

He said: “On arrival I questioned it with Mrs Longford, who was driving one of the taxis. We had two little ones, one four months old and the other two years old, as well as five adults.

“It was beyond me how we would fit in with the car seats and I voiced how annoyed I was that we had booked in advance and there was a last-minute change.

“They were late when they picked us up so I told her they needed to get their act together. She said I was being abusive so apologised it seemed that way.”

According to Mr Breithaupt, the pair agreed to forget about it and nothing more was said. The family paid £75 on arrival at the airport and arranged for a place to meet on return.

Mr Breithaupt added: “When we got back, I saw a bloke with a sign saying Longford’s Taxis and asked if he was for us.

“I was astonished when he said he was not for us and had been told to tell me that I had to make my own way home. It was 1am on Saturday morning and we were stuck.”

Simon Longford, owner of Lowton-based Longford Taxis, says the family was not brought home because his firm have a zero tolerance on abuse to his drivers.

He said: “I wasn’t prepared to let any of my drivers take them home after the outbound journey. We were unable to send the minibus as planned as we had to attend a funeral at the last minute. The man was very abusive to my drivers so I didn’t want to risk any further trouble.

“I did send someone up to help them find another taxi to get home. I would never leave a family stranded as I am a family man myself.”

Mr Longford says he has offered a refund which includes £37.50 for the return journey the family didn’t receive from his firm as well as half of the fare the family had to pay another firm to bring them home. Mr Longford says he has also offered the family £75 of travel credit with his company.

Wigan Council’s licensing department has acted as a go between with the two parties.