HUNDREDS of passengers stayed away from Cork Airport yesterday but this did nothing to lessen the frustration of the dozens who saw their holiday dreams and business trips descend into chaos.
Despite the stoppage being restricted to a two-hour 'window', the knock-on effects forced the cancellation of 16 flights. Worst hit were passengers who had to make connections at major London airports.
"I have a hotel booked in Manchester and now I'm being told I can travel to London this evening," said Mary Ryan, adding: "It will cost me almost the price of my flight to get a train up to Manchester."
A businessman who was due to get a connecting flight in London for Moscow admitted the delays could jeopardise important business meetings in the Russian capital.
Meanwhile, a family were in danger of missing their London connection for Orlando to enjoy a long-planned Disneyland holiday.
Other travellers were furious at having arrived at Cork Airport, only to be told they should travel to Dublin Airport for alternative flights.
Worst affected by the cancellations were Cork's three biggest airlines -- Aer Lingus, Aer Arann and Ryanair.
Cork Airport had urged travellers booked on flights for periods outside the air traffic controller stoppage to turn up at the airport as normal, though they had stressed that some departures might be delayed.