Hen party says 'horrendous' 17-hour easyJet flight delay saw many of them miss work

The hens jetted off to Portugal for the Jubilee bank holiday. Credit: Media Wales

Members of a hen party have spoken of their "horrendous" experience after their flight home from Portugal was delayed by almost 17 hours, causing many of them to miss work.

It follows days of travel chaos, with thousands of holiday-makers stranded abroad due to flights being delayed or cancelled.

The party was due to catch an easyJet flight to Bristol Airport from Faro on Sunday 5 June at 10.10pm, but did not make it on a flight until 2.30pm the next day.

It meant that several of the hens, who work as schoolteachers, did not make it to work on Monday following the Jubilee bank holiday weekend - while others were left worrying about childcare.

Ffion Williams, 32, from Merthyr Tydfil, claims that for the duration of the delay - including overnight - the party had no choice but to camp on the "cold" airport floor, with no blankets, food or water.

Describing the series of events, she said: "We had an update from easyJet to say we had a flight delay by one hour and that our new flight would be at 11.15pm.

"We got to the airport, checked in, checked our luggage in and got through security and waited for our gate to open. Then the flight was further delayed until 12.45am."

The hens say they had to sleep on the airport floor overnight. Credit: Media Wales

'Everyone ran to get into a queue'

Another problem emerged when it was announced that the flight was overbooked by eight people and not everyone would be able to board.

Ffion said: "When the gate opened ready for us to get on to the flight, there was an announcement made over the tannoy saying they had overfilled our flight and asking if there was anyone who could stay in Faro and not get on the flight.

"Obviously everyone ran to get into a queue because nobody wanted to stay in the airport."

The already-delayed flight was then cancelled altogether.

Ffion said. "The next announcement came then to say the pilot and air hostesses had been flying for their 12 hours and the flight would now be cancelled, and there would be an update by 12pm on Monday as to when our next flight would be.

"There were no staff there to ask what to do. EasyJet's app crashed so we couldn't even get on there. We were sat on the airport floor until 1.30pm on Monday."

The group documented their travel woes on social media. Credit: Media Wales

'It was horrendous'

Ffion says leaflets were given to passengers advising them to call easyJet, but helplines were down.

She also claims no hotel was offered to the group - who ranged in age from 20s to late 50s.

She added: "We weren't allowed to book our own hotel room ourselves because if we did, we wouldn't get a refund. The only way we could get a refund was to go on the easyJet app, but it was down.

"With there being 23 of us, the hotel would have been very expensive for us all to book and not all of us had the funds available to do that after budgeting for a holiday. It was horrendous."

During their time at the airport, Ffion says there was little opportunity to get food and water, with shops closing at 10.30pm shortly after they arrived.

Ffion added that one of the hens is diabetic and became ill when her blood sugar levels dropped.

The group eventually made it onto a flight at 1.30pm on Monday, which was then delayed for a further hour, according to Ffion.

She also claimed that the flight had been overbooked again and around six passengers had to stay in Faro.

The "exhausted" party finally made it home late on Monday afternoon.

The hen party pictured in Portugal. Credit: Media Wales

'We understand the impact this caused'

Ffion says she understands the pressures on airline staff, but added: "Knowing there is carnage in all the airports at the moment, they should have representatives on the floor checking on passengers."

A spokeswoman for easyJet said: "We are very sorry that Ms Williams' flight EZY6010 from Faro to Bristol on 5 June was cancelled.

"Customers were notified directly of their options to rebook or receive a refund, and offered hotel accommodation and meals where required.

"We reimburse accommodation expenses, and so we are looking into why some customers were incorrectly informed and remained in the airport at Faro.

"We understand the impact this caused to their plans and we are very sorry. Our team will be reaching out to Ms Williams to apologise for her experience and support with processing her expenses."