EasyJet customers have told UTV of the stress they’ve endured as a result of flight cancellations to and from Belfast International Airport with one family fearing they will miss a wedding in Portugal.
They were due to fly out to Faro on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m very fearful that we will not be getting on the flight,” Jean McKiernan said.
“The flight is for a family wedding, my niece is in Portugal at the minute, with a wedding planner finalising numbers.”
The travelling party gathered in the lobby of a Belfast hotel, desperately checking their phones for an update.
It wasn’t just flights to Portugal that were affected – there were also cancellations between on flights to Gatwick and Bristol.
David Harrigan had travelled back to Northern Ireland for his sister’s birthday with his partner – but both are now having to take time off work after their flight to Bristol was cancelled.
“She’s a nurse, she’s now missed two shifts, she was supposed to be in the community looking after two children with complex needs,” he said.
“We’ve also had to arrange childcare for our boy, my stepson.
“I’ve also lost two days of work – I was supposed to be at a conference for the recommissioning of services for young people in Bristol.
“Half-term is next week, we were due to send out 1,600 vouchers for free school meals.”
EasyJet said staff assisted passengers whose flights had been cancelled.
“There’s been nothing from EasyJet whatsoever and to say there were people around to help customers, I would love to know where they were,” said Jean.
“They didn’t even provide any transport from Belfast International down to [the hotel] – you were just left to yourself.”
David added: “It was a shambles from EasyJet. There was nobody to help us.”
Stephen Givan, Gillian McBride, Pamela Millar are trying to return to Northern Ireland from London and say Gatwick was chaos.
"The EasyJet staff on the ground were probably overwhelmed, they had very little information themselves,” Gillian said.
Stephen added: “they had no idea what was going on, they were inexperience staff and every staff member was happy to dump the problem on someone else.
”EasyJet spokesperson added: "We did all possible to minimise the impact of the disruption for our customers and customers were able to transfer to an alternative flight free of charge, or receive a voucher or a refund.
"The quickest and easiest way for customers to book a hotel and transfer to an alternative easyJet flight is always via Manage Bookings or through the easyJet app, and we also had a number of dedicated staff at Belfast airport available to assist.
"Customers can also contact us by phone to discuss other rerouting options, in line with EU261, and we always aim to reroute customers within 24 hours.”
"While this was outside of our control, we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused by the cancellations. The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is our highest priority.”
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