Passengers stranded as aircraft used for other flight


NEARLY 200 passengers who were due to fly to Boston yesterday were left stranded in Co Clare overnight because their aircraft was needed to take other passengers from Dublin to the same destination.

Aer Lingus flight EI-135 was preparing for boarding ahead of its scheduled 12.40pm departure from Shannon to Boston when the 185 passengers on board were told they would not be travelling because of a technical problem.

They were not informed, however, that their aircraft was being sent to Dublin from where it would continue to Boston with other Aer Lingus customers.

The airline decided to cancel the Shannon-Boston flight and send the Airbus jet to Dublin, where over 350 passengers had been left grounded because of issues with the aircraft that had been due to fly them to Boston.

One passenger, a woman from Galway, said passengers were not told about the cancellation until they were about to board. “We had checked in, gone through security, immigration, the whole lot. We were told the flight was cancelled and they said it was because of technical difficulties. ”

One man, from Boston, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’m not very happy at all. I came here from Boston last Friday for a funeral and will lose a day’s pay because I’m going to be stuck here for another night. It’s not good enough that we were told at the last minute.”

Another passenger, Kevin O’Connor from Maine, said: “About 40 minutes before we were due to depart they said that, due to technical difficulties, they were cancelling the flight.

“We don’t mind too much because they’re putting us up for the night and we can enjoy this beautiful country and wonderful weather for another day.”

An Aer Lingus spokesman said: “The flight was cancelled due to technical issues within the fleet. Customers have been provided with hotel accommodation as needed and will be flown from Shannon to Boston on Friday.”

It is understood that two aircraft were taken out of service at Dublin: one suffered a technical issue while another was damaged after it was struck by a ground vehicle. The Air Accident Investigation Unit confirmed it was advised of the ground incident at Dublin.