Sunday 21 October 2018

'It ruined the end of our holiday'- families upset after cancelled Ryanair flight leaves them stranded in Spain until Sunday

Alexey Ivanov and his daughter Zoya (10) were just one of the families affected by the cancelled flight
Alexey Ivanov and his daughter Zoya (10) were just one of the families affected by the cancelled flight

Rachel Farrell

A cancelled Ryanair flight from Vigo in northwest Spain to Dublin has left passengers stranded in the town until Sunday.

The flight was expected to leave Vigo airport at 2.30pm on Thursday 7th June, but when passengers arrived at the airport, they were told it was cancelled as a result of the fog.

Alexey Ivanov and his 10-year-old daughter Zoya from Cavan, who were holidaying in the scenic area of Vigo, said they were left for hours in the airport with no information before they were put up in a nearby hotel for the night.

"We had no information, no food and no drink in the airport. We were almost 6 hours waiting in the long queue when they told us our flight was rescheduled to Sunday," the father told Independent.ie.

"When we got on the bus, all the children were crying. The hotel they put us in was a place for couples, not families. We were all so hungry and expecting food but there was nothing, not even a bottle of water.

"My daughter was crying because there were ants on the bed. I only slept half the night because I was so worried. It ruined the end of our holiday."

Another family from Athlone shared a similar experience, saying it was a "sleepless and hungry night".

"My wife and two daughters were due to fly home from Vigo with Ryanair yesterday, having originally been due to fly on Sunday but my autistic daughter wanted to come home early. She got it in her head that she wanted to see her dog, she had a week's holiday and that was enough," their father told Independent.ie.

"Some flights were re-directed to other airports and the passengers were bussed to meet up with their flight, but not the Vigo-Dublin route.  They were left in the airport for almost 9 hours with no food and very little information, they were eventually bussed to a hotel for the night where they were promised a meal."

They explained that the bus ride to the hotel sent their daughter in hysterics, who couldn't see out the window due to the dense fog. 

"The bus trip was terrifying, the windows were all misted, and the driver was trying to peer out through a slit he cleared with a rag while oncoming cars flashed him," he said.

When they arrived at the hotel, the father said his family were "horrified" at the bedroom conditions.

He said: "They got no meal despite what they were promised in the airport. On entering the room, the first thing they met was vermin running across the floor.

"I had my wife on the phone to me in tears with my autistic daughter in the background in hysterics.  A sleepless and hungry night in the middle of nowhere. When they woke up, the bed was covered in ants."

Both families have sourced new accommodation, and were told by Ryanair that the next flight is on Sunday.

Mr. Ivanov said:  "I now have to pay more expenses like paying extra for parking at Dublin airport. My budget is tiny, I'm lucky our friend has taken us in until our flight on Sunday but I thought Ryanair would take care of us." 

A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “This flight from Vigo to Dublin (7 June) was regrettably cancelled as the inbound aircraft was diverted to Santiago, due to fog at Vigo airport. 

"All affected customers were contacted by email and SMS text message (at 14.58 local time, 28 minutes after the scheduled time of departure) and advised of this cancellation and of their options of a full refund, a free transfer to the next available flight or a free transfer on to an alternative route. 

"The customers in question were provided with hotel accommodation and are due to fly back to Dublin on Sunday. Ryanair sincerely apologised to customers affected by this weather cancellation, which was entirely beyond our control.” 

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