Flight cancellations: Sheffield friends’ holiday becomes ‘nightmare’ after 30 hour delays and flooded airport

Four friends from Sheffield have had to fork out over £1,000 after being affected by extreme flight delays.
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Nationwide traffic chaos has left thousands stranded in airports after a technical problem with the air traffic control service cancelled hundreds of flights.

Cole Pemberton and his friends Ethan Jones, Chloe Calton and Monique Carnall said their holiday to Majorca’s party capital, Magaluf, became a ‘nightmare’ after they were ‘stranded’ at Leeds Bradford Airport, and had to fork out over £1,000 for accommodation and transfer costs.

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The group left Sheffield at 4.55am on Sunday August 27, and were greeted at Leeds Bradford Airport by the chaos of ‘hundreds of people everywhere’ affected by delayed and cancelled flights.

Thousands of people have been suffering long flight delays and cancellations after a "technical issue" hit UK air traffic control systems.Thousands of people have been suffering long flight delays and cancellations after a "technical issue" hit UK air traffic control systems.
Thousands of people have been suffering long flight delays and cancellations after a "technical issue" hit UK air traffic control systems.

But it was only as they were about to board their flight with Ryanair that afternoon that they were told it had been cancelled.

Cole, aged 21, who works at Ponds Forge, said: “It felt like we’d been left to fend for ourselves. Everyone in the airport was so stressed.

“There were two flights going to Palma that day, one with Jet2 and one with Ryanair. There were no staff from Ryanair at the airport at all. We didn’t even know our flight had been cancelled.

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“We called the customer service team and they weren’t able to help us. We had to book our own accommodation in Leeds and just wait.

“Jet2’s team were really good. They provided food vouchers and accommodation and refunds. They even flew some people out that weren't flying with them. Bur Ryanair haven't even acknowledged anything."

Cole shared a photo taken at Leeds Bradford Airport showing hundreds of people queuing for delayed flights.Cole shared a photo taken at Leeds Bradford Airport showing hundreds of people queuing for delayed flights.
Cole shared a photo taken at Leeds Bradford Airport showing hundreds of people queuing for delayed flights.

The group had purchased a package holiday with Loveholidays for around £700 per person, which included a two-way flight with Ryanair to Palma, five nights in a hotel in Magaluf, and transfers to and from the airport. 

But they then had to pay for an Airbnb in Leeds, a taxi to and from the airport, an additional two nights at their hotel in Magaluf to make up for missed time, and new transfers to and from the airport in Majorca, equating to around £1,400. 

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The following day, following further delays and being moved to multiple terminals, they were eventually arrived in Palma shortly before midnight. But on top of being 30 hours later than scheduled, they also arrived to a flooded airport following a hurricane which had torn down trees across the resort, and masses of people waiting to travel back to the UK.

The 21-year-old from Grenoside said he has been left feeling ‘frustrated’. “It’s annoying because we’re trying to get in touch with people and there's just no answer from anybody. 

“We’ve missed a day of our holiday and then wasted a full morning and afternoon trying to get in touch with Ryanair.”

Cole claimed that Ryanair emailed him 48 hours after their cancelled flight to say they couldn’t do anything ‘at this moment’, but to submit a claims form which they are now waiting to hear back from.

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The group is now focusing on enjoying the rest of their holiday with days at the beach, the water park, and nights out at the bars. 

Ryanair said: “This passenger booked through an OTA who Ryanair has no commercial relationship with nor are they authorised to sell our flights. OTAs scrape Ryanair’s inventory and in many cases miss-sell our flights and ancillary services with hidden mark-ups and provide fake customer contact information / payment details.

"This flight from Leeds Bradford to Palma (August 27) was cancelled due to the thunderstorms in Mallorca. A cancellation email was sent to the email address on the booking to notify the passengers and advise of their options.

"However, this flight was booked through an OTA who used a fake email address for the passenger. Therefore, Ryanair was unable to communicate directly with the passenger until they changed the email in the booking to their own the next day (August 28).”