British Airways plane sat on the tarmac at Gatwick for more than five hours due to a shortage of loo roll.
Passengers on BA flight 2153 from London to Barbados were delayed because their aircraft had not been prepared satisfactorily, forcing the airline to assemble a new ground crew to restock the likes of toilet paper and headphones.
The Boeing 777, which can carry 280 passengers, was due to leave the London airport at 1.40pm on Sunday but did not depart until 6.51pm. It arrived at Bridgetown just before midnight, five-and-a-half hours later than scheduled.
Under European legislation on flight delays, each of the travellers is entitled to compensation of £520 - or €600, meaning the carrier could be left with a bill for up to £145,600 (or around €168,141). The delayed outbound flight meant that the return service also left nearly six hours late, taking potential compensation to £291,200, or approximately €336,000.
Annabel Cliffe, one of passengers flying from Gatwick to Bridgetown, tweeted an hour into the delay: “Sat on plane @ Gatwick delayed with no idea of departure for wrong headphones!! Really? #Notgoodenough.”
Three and a half hours later she added: “Loo roll and passengers now back on board!! Over 3 hrs late and counting will we ever leave LGW!!?”
@British_Airways BA2153 loo roll & passengers now back on board !! Over 4 hrs late & counting will we ever leave lgw!!?— Annabel (@AJCliffe1) March 5, 2017
Another flier, Bill Murray, tweeted: “Utter shambles. BA cost cutting means we’re all disembarked due to shortage of bog roll. Congrats - BA laughing stock.”
“Severely delayed because they forgot the loo rolls,” said a third, Paul Kaye.
@British_Airways BA2153 severely delayed because they forgot the loo rolls!— Paul Kaye (@paulkaye100) March 5, 2017
One of the inbound travellers tweeted that she was told the “wrong kind of cleaners” had caused the delay.
A spokesperson for BA said: “We are sorry customers were delayed after some of the many items needed for the flight weren’t loaded onto the aircraft."