Hol­i­day­mak­ers stuck in Ma­jorca till next week as flights can­celled

Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By CHAR­LOTTE COX char­lotte.cox@men-news.co.uk @ccox­men­media

HUN­DREDS of pas­sen­gers spent the night try­ing to sleep on an air­port floor after their Ryanair flights were can­celled and they were forced to queue for help.

Among trav­ellers stranded at Palma Air­port in Ma­jorca were Tony and Joanne John­son, due to catch a 9.20pm flight to Manchester which was scrapped at the last minute.

Ryanair, who blamed French air strikes, said they tried to find al­ter­na­tive flights and are do­ing all they can to help peo­ple af­fected.

But Tony, 48, a caterer, says he and Joanne, 47, a Bet Fred man­ager, were forced to queue overnight for help from staff.

The cou­ple from Ec­cles, Sal­ford, were among hun­dreds of pas­sen­gers to start queu­ing at around 8.30pm on Tues­day.

They queued un­til yes­ter­day evening be­fore se­cur­ing a flight back to Manchester on MON­DAY.

They have been put up in a bed and break­fast.

Tony, a caterer, said be­fore se­cur­ing the flight: “We’re stuck, we’ve no money left. I tried to find an­other flight but the cheap­est is £306 each on Saturday.

“And we’ve been told if we find our own flights Ryanair won’t put us up in the mean­time.

“Peo­ple have slept on the floor, they keep tak­ing chairs away – it’s ter­ri­ble. No food, no wa­ter, noth­ing. At one point they called the po­lice be­cause we were ask­ing ques­tions.”

Tony and Joanne, who had en­joyed a two-week holiday, ar­rived at Palma Air­port and checked in for their 9.20pm flight. But after mov­ing them to an al­ter­na­tive gate, Ryanair can­celled and pas­sen­gers were di­rected to a desk down­stairs that Tony and Joanne said was manned by just two staff. Pas­sen­gers then queued overnight for help. Many re­ported be­ing given tick­ets to fly at the week­end via other cities. Flights are now re­port­edly full up for days.

Tony, a grandad, said he orig­i­nally planned to get a boat to Barcelona and drive back to the UK but Ryanair staff per­suaded him not to.

He added: “We weren’t of­fered any­thing by Ryanair staff – no food, drink or as­sis­tance.

“My wife’s a man­ager at Bet Fred. Staff get a Christ­mas bonus for at­ten­dance and she was sup­posed to be at work on Wednesday – this is going to ruin that.”

A Ryanair spokesman said the can­cel­la­tions were a re­sult of French Air Traf­fic Con­trol strikes af­fect­ing all air­lines op­er­at­ing to, from and over France. He said they were forced to can­cel a num­ber of flights on Tues­day as a re­sult and they had apol­o­gised to all af­fected cus­tomers by email and text mes­sage, also ad­vis­ing of their op­tion for a full re­fund, free re­book­ing to the next avail­able flight or trans­fer to an al­ter­na­tive flight.

Pas­sen­gers at Palma Air­port

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