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Trapped skiers home after 30 hours of icy travel chaos

A GROUP of 150 skiers were relieved to arrive back in Dublin last night, after their return home from France was delayed for more than 30 hours due to bad weather and a damaged plane.

The holidaymakers had been on the ski slopes of the French Alps and were due to return home on Saturday. But snow and ice caused mayhem with France's travel infrastructure over the weekend.

A contingent of Irish, who were travelling with Crystal Ski, was among the hundreds of passengers who were left stranded in Chambery Airport.

Bus transfers from resorts to the airport were delayed by up to eight hours. The return flight to Dublin, which was due to take off at around 11am, was also delayed.

Passengers boarded the Jet2 plane just before 3pm, but the nightmare continued when the stairs to load the aircraft collided with its door, damaging it and preventing take off.

The passengers had to disembark and wait for an engineer to arrive from Lyon Airport, but this too was delayed due to poor conditions on the roads.

Some were taken to emergency accommodation for the night, while others remained at the airport.

Furious

Eventually, a plane was secured and a flight departed for Dublin from Chambery at around 6.30pm yesterday.

However, many of the holidaymakers were furious with their treatment having been left with little to eat or drink.

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That anger was amplified when a plane from Dublin to Chambery was routed back to Britain's East Midlands Airport, for the British holiday makers who were also stranded.

A spokesperson for Jet2 apologised for the inconvenience caused. "We fully appreciate that there has been serious delays and all we can do it apologise," she told the Herald.

Jet2 confirmed that a flight from Chambery had been scheduled and the flight touched down in Dublin just before 8.30pm last night.

Trudy Morgan and her daughter Claudia were "relieved" to be home saying their experience at Chambery Airport was "pretty terrible".

"When we finally got onto the plane they somehow hit the door and caused an even bigger delay. It's not a full time airport - they just couldn't cope with the amount of people."

hnews@herald.ie


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