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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Sophie Brownson

TUI mega fan, 96, gifted with free Benidorm holiday to celebrate 50th getaway

A 96-year-old is celebrating more than half a century of holidays with TUI with a Benidorm break.

Connie Mclauchlin, from Ponteland, Northumberland has been using the airline for around 55 years, visiting dozens of popular destinations with her husband, John, and pals.

As well as visiting the likes of Alicante and Zante, they on the very first flight from Newcastle to Orlando in 1992, Chronicle Live reported.

The TUI super fan's favourite destination is Italy's Amalfi Coast.

"I’ve been using TUI for about 55 years," she said.

Connie will get to enjoy everything Benidorm has to offer (Getty Images)

"I love to fly with TUI because they have good flight times and great hotels. They are reliable, have fair pricing and provide a great, all-round service.

"In recent years I’ve always flown from Newcastle and I have holidayed together with my husband, John, and with friends. I’ve also done many trips with my girlfriends.

"Destinations we’ve travelled to include; Palma, Alicante, Malaga, Lanzarote, Tenerife and Faro, Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zante, Cyprus, Naples, Verona, Rome, Malta and Madrid."

And there's no stopping the enthusiastic holidaymaker, as she gets set to go on her fiftieth TUI holiday to Benidorm with her family later this month.

Her latest trip is being funded by TUI as the airline celebrates a milestone anniversary of its own - 60 years of flying from Newcastle International Airport.

In 1962 TUI - which was known at the time as Sky Tours, announced the first package holiday from Newcastle International Airport to Benidorm.

Since then the company has grown enormously to its current standing as the UK’s largest holiday company.

Richard Sofer, commercial and business development director at TUI, said: "It is fantastic to meet people like Connie. She is going on her 50th holiday with us in just over a week's time.

The 96-year-old could visit this Benidorm karaoke bar (Getty Images)

"I love that families grow up having their holidays with TUI and travelling through Newcastle International Airport. They love going on that holiday and that is what we are here to do. That is our purpose and is what makes us happy."

Looking back at how the airline industry has changed over the last 60 years, Richard said major changes include the smoking ban being introduced on flights and the increased efficiency of planes.

"Back in the 60s it used to only be the affluent few that could afford to travel, but now, one of the things that we strive to do, whilst working with partners like Newcastle International Airport, is to make holidays affordable and give a breadth of choice," he said.

"I think that has been a real success story over the last 60 years."

He continued: “We’re delighted to be celebrating this significant milestone with Newcastle International Airport.

"From the early days when we operated to a small number of destinations like Benidorm, to now where we fly to 27 holiday hotspots, it’s fantastic to see the evolution of this important partnership."

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