Michael Tierney, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, said there were “inhumane” scenes at Antalya Airport in Turkey after their easyJet flight back to the UK was cancelled
Image: Michael Tierney)
A family has reported “inhumane” scenes at a Turkish airport, with people sleeping on the floor, feeling “trapped” after a canceled flight and unable to afford replacements.
Michael Tierney said he and his family, including nine-month-old Ralphie, were stranded in Antalya, Turkey, after their easyJet flight was canceled and they had to spend £2,500 on new flights and hotels.
They were due to fly back last Tuesday, May 31, but were told at the airport that their plane was not departing and the families would not be given any alternatives, the reported Manchester evening news.
Michael, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, said: “I should have been back three days ago. We checked the flights on the app when we traveled there on Tuesday night and it didn’t say anything had changed.
“But when we got there, people were running around as the flight had been canceled without notice. We found a member of staff and asked what we could do but they just told us there were no more flights.
“We were just told to make our own way back and sort it out ourselves, a lot of people there didn’t have the money to do it. People just ended up on the floor with lots of crying children. The only solution we were offered was next-day flights from Dalaman, miles away.”
Michael’s brother was able to book him a return flight, but they had to wait three days for that. During that time he had to buy more food for the baby and book more trips and hotels, costing just under £2,500.
At the same time, Michael said other airlines were inflating flights to England and all easyJet could offer him was a flight back to London but without his whole family.
“When we came back three days later for our return, there were families we had seen sleeping on the floor on Tuesday night. They couldn’t afford to pay for more hotels, so they preferred to sleep at the airport horribly,” he said.
“It just felt like a complete mess. Nobody was there to help. All I wanted to do was get my family home, I really didn’t want to let the baby go through any more.
“Everyone was shocked. When we were told there were no more flights for days it was just so frustrating. How can they leave families just like that, it feels inhuman, people just had to sleep at the airport. No sympathy at all, no one had anyone to turn to.
Julian Hamilton/Sunday Mirror)
“We were all in the same boat, everyone was struggling to deal with it. We felt trapped in another country, it was scary.”
They finally returned to Manchester Airport on Friday, where chaos rages on as it struggles to cope with passenger numbers.
Images taken in the early hours of the morning showed hundreds of pieces of luggage left behind by passengers, sources said.
And video footage from Thursday showed vacationers at the airport fed up as they climbed through a luggage belt curtain to retrieve stranded luggage behind it.
Police were called to stop passengers after travelers had to wait more than three hours to get their luggage.
A passenger said: “Passengers were upset because they didn’t get any answers. People climbed and crawled through the curtain on the carousel belt trying to find their own luggage. The bags were there, but no one was there to put them on. Carousel.”
Manchester Airport has cited staff shortages as one of the reasons for some additional delays.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has now suggested calling in the army to help at UK airports struggling to cope with half-term demands.
Referring to the situation, Mr O’Leary said that “defense personnel experienced in providing security” should be drafted.
He told ITV News: “Bringing in the army, which they are doing at many other European airports, would, in one fell swoop, ease the pressure on airport security and mean people have a much better experience – not just this weekend, but for every weekend for the next three, four months.”
An easyJet spokesman said: “We deeply regret that flight EZY1822 from Antalya to Manchester on 31 May has been cancelled. We have informed customers directly of their options to rebook or receive and refund and offered to provide hotel accommodation and meals if required.
“Nonetheless, we fully understand the disruption this will have caused to your plans and we are deeply sorry. Our team is reaching out to Mr. Tierney to apologize for his experience and to reimburse him and his family for their expenses.”
Der Spiegel has contacted easyJet for further comment.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/brit-family-experience-inhumane-scenes-27144202 British family witnesses 'inhuman' scenes as easyJet flight from Turkey canceled - World News