Disgruntled passengers whose flights have been disrupted or cancelled due to strike action have hit out at airlines, saying they never expected delays to be "this bad".
Ryanair and easyJet customers face a weekend of travel chaos as up to 300 flights to and around France have been cancelled – and they’re less than impressed, having branded the situation a "costly nightmare".
One frustrated easyJet customer said their 10th anniversary honeymoon flight was delayed by 15 hours last night, with the replacement this morning cancelled.
"@easyJet Off on a 10th anniversary delayed honeymoon. Starts with a 15-hour delay. Trying to be philosophical about it, but very little help or info from easyJet staff," Paul Binnion tweeted.
"After an hour of standing in a non-moving queue with no information or sign of easyJet staff give up and pay for a hotel. Then woken this morning by text telling me the replacement flight has been delayed. Starting to feel less philosophical about it now.
"I understand these things happen, but poor communication from the easyJet staff about the situation hasn’t helped."
Another passenger said their rescheduled flight from last night has been delayed by two hours this morning, and is flying to Birmingham instead of Luton Airport.
"Can understand cancellations happen, but never expected it to be this bad," Sam Turner said.
"Woke up at 4am, missing breakfast, to make sure ready for 8:00am flight only to find out it’s delayed until 10:00am. Very little information from @easyJet.
"Then had to ask/battle to get a voucher to cover half the price of a piece of toast and drink…Wait for the next episode."
Another customer said her flight from France has been cancelled, with no replacement in time for her to get to work on Monday.
Karen Mcloughlin tweeted: "@easyJet good evening, you’ve just cancelled my flight home from France tomorrow (and Sunday flights also cancelled) do you have any suggestions on how I can make it to work on Monday please? South of France to Scotland. Thanks!"
She later added: "nothing at all available until Wednesday. Have now had to book a flight back to Edinburgh from Geneva and pay €80 for the train there from Nimes. Can you confirm you will cover this as per previous advice?"
Ryanair passenger Ursula Lindo told Mirror Online finding out her flight had been cancelled on her birthday with no alternatives was "the worst thing I could imagine" and she was "in tears".
"Me and 3 friends travelled to Toulouse, France, on Thursday June 21 in the evening from Stansted Airport with Ryanair. Our flight was delayed leaving the UK but was happy we reached our destination on time to collect our rental car," she said.
"Friday afternoon the next day after arrival, is when we received an email saying the flight has been cancelled on Sunday 24.
"It took us collectively four hours before we could find a route back home, and had a few of us break down in tears as we have responsibilities and commitments back home that we need to get back to.
"We now have to drop the car off at Toulouse airport,then catch a bus from Toulouse airport to Toulouse central bus station. Coach from there to Bordeaux (3hr journey) Sleep at an air bnb Sunday night and Fly from Bordeaux to Gatwick @ 11.55pm with British airways, which also means our return Stansted Express train tickets and now wasted and have to find our way home from Gatwick.
"This nightmare is very costly and feels like we can’t fully enjoy this short break which was supposed to my birthday treat away for the weekend.
"Tears on my birthday should be of joy not stress. All I can think about now is getting back on UK soil."
A Ryanair customer at Leeds Bradford Airport this morning said there are "no staff" available to give information about delays.
"@LBIAirport @Ryanair flight to Palma delayed, no staff around or boards updated #customerservice," ‘LK’ tweeted.
Another, Judy Condick, said "no one cares" about delays.
She said: "Hate Ryanair Air!! No service or information re delays at Bristol Airport today. Hot, no A/C at departures. No one cares or is experienced enough to even say sorry. Never ever again!"
Diane Jeantet said: "Saving a few bucks to fly w/ @Ryanair is certainly not worth the nightmares that ensue a flight cancelation.
"A day after receiving cancelation notice for 2morrow, I still haven’t been able to talk to anyone but am charged 0.34€/min to wait endlessly on the phone. Never-Again."
EasyJet has announced more than 200 flights have been scrapped due to industrial action by air traffic controllers in Marseille on Saturday and Sunday.
Likewise up to 100 flights by Ryanair have been cancelled , with widespread chaos expected for travellers.
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A spokesman for EasyJet said: “Due to local air traffic control industrial action from June 23-24 affecting Marseille airspace EasyJet, like all airlines, has been required to cancel 100 flights on Saturday 23 and 108 flights on Sunday June 24 which include flights to and from Marseille and some flights which pass through Marseille airspace which are unable to be rerouted.
"easyJet will be doing everything possible to minimise the effects of the strike action for our customers and priority for cancellation has been given to those flights where passengers could find alternative options."
The airline says it has advised passengers of affected flights in advance by text and email and advises customers to check its website before travelling.
Those on cancelled flights will be able to transfer free or charge, or get a refund.
“Whilst this is outside of our control we would like to thank customers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience experienced as a result of this industrial action," the spokesman added.
A spokesman for Ryanair earlier said: "Due to yet another French ATC strike, Ryanair regrets to inform customers that it has been forced to cancel a number of flights (we expect up to 100 flights) on Saturday and Sunday.
"All affected customers have been contacted by email and text message and advised of their options: a full refund, rebooking on to the next available flight or transferring to an alternative flight.
"As a result of this unjustified strike action, we also expect some significant delays to flights to/from/over France and we advise customers due to travel on Saturday & Sunday to check the status of their flight on the Ryanair.com website."
A spokeswoman for British Airways said it is running a normal schedule this weekend.
Other airlines are expected to be affected.
Last week Ryanair warned that Europe’s skies could be empty all summer due to French ATC industrial action.
Ryanair itself was forced to cancel “just over 1,000 flights, almost all due to ATC staff shortages and strikes” in May, 24 times as many as it cancelled in the same month last year.
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