Manchester Airport: Passengers scramble for second Ryanair flight
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A family has shared their frustration after their plans to enjoy the winter sunshine at Gran Canaria were delayed due to the plane needing to be defrosted.
Lisa and John Robinson were expecting to jet off on their Ryanair flight at 1.45pm on Saturday, December 10, but didn’t leave until Sunday.
Despite passengers being ready to fly-out on the Saturday, the recent cold snap and snow made these plans almost impossible. As a result, the airport was forced to close runways earlier in the day, and passengers were told the plane needed defrosting.
Holidaymaker Lisa Robinson, 47, says passengers had been told Ryanair needed a defrosting machine to become available, before eventually they were told to come back for the flight on Sunday instead.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Lisa, who was travelling with her husband John, 51, and son Jacob, 17, says passengers were offered one cup of water and no food while waiting to take off on the ill-fated Saturday flight. After being told to get off the plane some hours later, passengers were told their bags would be staying on board, before they were sent off to wait for taxis outside.
It led to an entire night of travelling through Manchester and Cheshire to get a hotel room – before finally securing one almost 12 hours after the family had been due to jet off, in Cranage near Holmes Chapel. “We had been trapped like caged animals on the plane,” said Lisa, from Sheffield. “It turned into complete chaos. We went to a Holiday Inn Express in the centre of Manchester. We were there for two hours. The first three passengers taken to that hotel were able to secure rooms, but we didn’t.
“The manager of the hotel was phoning around, trying to liaise with Ryanair and other hotels. We then went to the Hilton at Old Trafford cricket ground. We were sent in taxis that only fit four people and by the time we got there again, the first two passengers were able to secure rooms.
“In the taxi to Hilton I ordered a Dominos to arrive when we got there, but when we arrived we were told we were not staying there. We were then sat for another hour in reception before we were eventually sent to the De Vere hotel at Cranage.”
The family finally checked in at the hotel at 1.30am, where Lisa says she was told Ryanair had arranged for taxis to take them back to the airport in the morning, but the family ended up arranging their own taxi with other passengers at the airport instead – costing £55. That cost came on top of food and drink for the Saturday night.
Passengers were still to be reunited with their luggage on the Sunday when they were told of a two-hour delay – only for a false dawn when they were told to urgently board the flight, with the moment captured by video. “We were rather stinky passengers in the morning without a change of clothes,” she said. “On arrival having gone through security, we sat down at the bar to find out it had been delayed by two hours.
“We were supposed to fly at 12pm but I got up at 11.40am to get a drink, paid for it, and the screen suddenly said ‘final call’ to board the flight. We had to abandon the drinks and go to the gate. We stood there for 30 minutes to then be told it was delayed for at least two hours because Ryanair was frantically searching for staff to man the plane, to take us to Gran Canaria.”
The flight finally took off at 3pm, with Lisa describing the episode as an ‘absolute s***show’.
A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “Due to adverse weather conditions in the UK, we have experienced a small number of delays/cancellations to our flights to/from the UK, including this flight from Manchester to Gran Canaria (December 10). Affected passengers were provided with overnight accommodation and passengers can claim any receipted and reasonable out of pocket expanses on Ryanair.com.
“As adverse weather continues across the UK and Ireland, our teams are working hard to minimise disruption to customers and Ryanair advises all customers flying to/from Ireland and UK today (Tuesday, December 13) to check the Ryanair website/app for flight status updates before travelling to the airport. We sincerely apologise for these weather-related disruptions which are beyond our control.”
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