Passengers stranded in Lanzarote as Aer Lingus cancels flight

‘It was absolutely ridiculous the way we have been treated,’ says passenger Anne Jackson

Aer Lingus said EI 777 was cancelled due to a technical fault with the aircraft.  File Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Aer Lingus said EI 777 was cancelled due to a technical fault with the aircraft. File Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

More than 100 passengers were stranded in Lanzarote airport on Thursday night after Aer Lingus cancelled a flight from the holiday island to Dublin.

Angry passengers were left waiting to hear from Aer Lingus about alternative flights and overnight accommodation after flight EI 777 was abruptly cancelled.

Speaking on Thursday night from Lanzarote, passenger Anne Jackson who was due to travel back to Dublin with her partner, said Aer Lingus texted passengers and told them about the cancellation after they had checked in.

“People were told to go out and find accommodation for themselves and come back tomorrow for another flight,” she said.

“Aer Lingus did absolutely nothing, they told us to go to the information desk, when we got to the desk there was nobody there, we had to stand and wait. It was absolutely ridiculous the way we have been treated.”

Ms Jackson said she got in contact with her brother at home and he was able to book a flight for her and her partner with an alternative airline, Thomson, flying into Belfast.

“Other people were taken to arrivals and left to their own devices and no arrangements made,” she said.

“I think 25 were getting on a later flight … but the rest were left to their own devices.”

Aer Lingus received frantic messages via Twitter from passengers stranded at the airport and looking for help.

One read: “chaos in Lanzarote airport, my family got rebooked on a flight .. on Sunday!!!”.

Another said: “no plane, no clue what’s going on, four hours delayed so far, sort this mess out”.

The cancellation follows a similar experience for passengers due to travel on an Aer Lingus flight from the same airport earlier this month.

On September 17th, a flight to Dublin was cancelled due to delays and the crew having insufficient flight hours remaining. The replacement flight, later that day, was also cancelled and passengers complained they were stranded at the airport overnight.

In a statement to The Irish Times on Thursday night, Aer Lingus said EI 777 was cancelled due to a technical fault with the aircraft.

A spokesman said 68 of the passengers affected by the cancellation were rebooked onto a later flight to Ireland on Thursday evening.

“The 100 guests who could not be accommodated on flights this evening have been provided with overnight hotel accommodation and are being rebooked onto flights with a range of other carriers tomorrow,” he said.

“Our handling agent is contacting guests with their booking details as the new bookings are made. We apologise most sincerely to our guests for the inconvenience caused by this disruption to their travel plans.”