Young pilgrims return home following Lourdes stranding

Group confirms arrival in Dublin following flight cancellation on Saturday

A group of Lourdes pilgrims left stranded in France over the weekend after their Ryanair flight was cancelled have arrived back in Ireland.

A group of Lourdes pilgrims left stranded in France over the weekend after their Ryanair flight was cancelled have arrived back in Ireland.

 

A group of Lourdes pilgrims left stranded in France over the weekend after their Ryanair flight was cancelled have arrived back in Ireland.

The group of 80, mostly young, pilgrims had spent a week assisting sick and elderly people at the religious site when they were informed of the abrupt cancellation of their Ryanair flight from Biarritz to Dublin Airport on Saturday night.

They were initially offered 30 seats on a flight from Carcassonne, some two-and-a-half hours away by car, due for departure on Tuesday, and were told they would have to make their own travel arrangements.

A post on the Oblate Youth Service Facebook page criticising the embattled airline for its “complete lack of assistance” and dismissive attitude towards their plight went on to be shared almost 1,000 times.

A subsequent post on the page confirmed that the group had been put on an outbound flight from Biarritz at 9.45am on Sunday morning, and a member of the group confirmed to The Irish Times that they managed to board the plane which had been specially sequestered from Stansted Airport.

“We’re all very pleased to be home and happy it got sorted in the end,” a member of the group said.

They confirmed that transfers to and from the airport as well as hotel accommodation had been provided by Ryanair.

This latest PR gaffe comes amidst a troubling time for the company, which is having to cancel thousands of flights over the coming weeks due to an administrative oversight in the allocation of pilots’ holidays.