Children 'in tears' as Gateshead family spend 31 hours stuck in Palma Airport

  • Watch Gregg Easteal's report

A Gateshead family were among hundreds left stranded at Palma airport for 31 hours after severe weather and technical issues caused extensive flight delays.

Claire Booth and her family had enjoyed a holiday in Majorca but endured a nightmare return trip as a result of the problems.

Their plane was due to take off from Palma Airport at 9:10pm on Sunday 27 August but they did not leave for another 31 hours.

They were forced to sleep on floors as they tried to stay comfortable in the conditions, with hotel accommodation unavailable.

They finally landed back at Newcastle Airport at 4:30am on Tuesday 29 August and Ms Booth has now detailed the experience which left her children in tears.

"There was sick on floors, there was rubbish everywhere," she told ITV Tyne Tees. "Wherever there was a platform or something, somewhere for people to lie there was someone there.

"It was just so noisy. It was just unreal.

"My youngest was in absolute tears for about an hour and a half when he found out we weren't going to get home.

"It was really difficult. All of the children were in tears at some point."

Claire Booth and her family were severely delayed at Palma Airport. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The family had been travelling with Jet2 but Ms Booth felt the airline could have done better when communicating the delays.

They were initially told the delay was due to poor weather as Majorca was battered by 62mph winds but later found out from people in Britain that the situation had been worsened by issues with air traffic control in the UK.

"We received very little information from the operator Jet2," she said. "Whenever we asked for further information they were just looking up the answers on the website.

"They couldn't answer any direct questions. It was very difficult. I don't think they were getting any information but it was just making the process really difficult as it was causing more frustration for all the passengers."

Jet2 apologised to passengers who have been caught up in the disruption and have confirmed they will receive a full refund.

Thousands of passengers coming to and from the UK have experienced severe delays in the last couple of days. Credit: Claire Booth

A statement from the airline said: "Due to the technical fault that affected the UK’s National Air Traffic Services yesterday, which has impacted all airlines, flights departing and returning to the UK are expected to experience significant delays.

"Our teams are working incredibly hard to communicate with, and look after, our customers and they will continue to do so.

"As a result of the disruption, we took the decision to cancel some outbound flights yesterday (Monday 28 August) and this morning (29 August). We have contacted all affected customers to let them know, and they will of course receive a full refund. We are extremely sorry to have to take this decision however the ATC disruption left us with no other choice.

"Customers due to travel today should travel to the airport as normal unless we advise otherwise and continue to monitor Flight Information on our website.

"For customers due to return to the UK, our teams are working tirelessly to provide hotel accommodation and we will be adding extra flights on top of our scheduled programme to bring our customers home.

"We would of course like to apologise to everyone that is affected by this situation, which is unfortunately completely outside of our control, and await the outcome of the CAA National Air Traffic Services investigation into what happened."

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