Monday 5 December 2016

Passengers furious, broke and exhausted after ash nightmare

Published 23/04/2010 | 05:00

WEARY passengers spoke of their frustration yesterday at being let down by airlines while they were stranded abroad.

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Furious, broke and exhausted passengers at Dublin Airport said they were left out in the cold and out of pocket by airlines that did nothing but cause them more stress.

Arriving on a flight from Tenerife, Ita Flood, (26), from Co Kildare, said the only reason she was able to get the last seat on an Aer Lingus flight yesterday was because she was travelling with a nine-week-old baby.

Ms Flood, her sister-in-law and baby and two other children had been due to fly home on April 20 after a one-week stay. But Aer Lingus claimed the earliest flight that they could get to Dublin was on May 15.

After countless international mobile-phone calls, the date was pushed forward to May 1 -- but only for two passengers.

"I was on hold for approximately six hours, all told," said Ita Flood. "Every time you'd ring back, you'd get cut off. No one would give their name or extension number.

"There was nobody to follow up on anything. They wouldn't call you back. Customer service refused to take calls."

The airline refused to pay up front for accommodation and gave them conflicting information on reimbursements, she claimed.

Ms Flood eventually got a reservation for yesterday's flight but it was overbooked when they arrived at the airport, she said.

Hopeless

Roy and Emma Farmer, both 38, from Derby in England, had a similar experience when trying to get home from Gran Canaria with Ryanair.

The couple and their three young children had their flight cancelled last Sunday and have spent every day since then scrambling to get a flight home.

They finally managed to get a flight to Birmingham via Dublin yesterday but only after Ray had camped out every morning at 7am at the Ryanair desk at the airport.

"We were originally told we wouldn't leave Gran Canaria until next Friday and finally this morning we found we could get a flight to Dublin.

"We packed in 20 minutes and just legged it to the airport just to get anywhere near home," Emma said.

And despite Ryanair's announcement that it would now reimburse passengers for costs incurred, Emma said she wasn't holding her breath to get back the €200 a day the delay has cost them.

"Ryanair just completely blanked us the whole time. We tried and tried to get through on their helpline, we never got through, we got nothing from them. They've been absolutely hopeless."

Irish Independent

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