A Dundee woman has claimed her family were “abandoned” by Ryanair after their flight home from Barcelona was cancelled.
Vicki Grogan was returning from a holiday in Spain when the Irish airline cancelled her flight to Prestwick — and says she only found out half an hour before it was due to take off.
However, Ryanair claims the cancellation was due to a French air traffic control strike and text messages were sent out an hour before take off.
The 41-year-old, who lives in the Dens Road area, said she and daughter Nicole, 24, Nicole’s partner Darryl Jones, 25, and her grandson Logan Johnstone, 3, were offered an alternative flight leaving four days later.
In addition, the family say they were not offered any food, water or overnight accommodation by the airline, run by businessman Michael O’Leary (above).
Vicki said: “We had checked in our luggage and went to the gate. About half an hour before we were set to go, I got a text saying the flight was cancelled.
“We all went back down to the departure hall and there were loads of other people there — we queued for four hours to speak to someone.
“When we got to the desk, we were told we weren’t being offered any accommodation and that we had to stay in the airport — something to do with French air traffic control not letting planes through.
“We just felt abandoned. We had to sleep on the cold floor of the terminal. It’s shocking how they treat people.”
Vicki and her family slept overnight in Barcelona-El Prat Airport and were offered a flight home via Rome four days after their intended departure date.
However, they were able to board a direct flight to Manchester after spotting the flight the next morning.
Vicki added: “We waited another hour at the desk to ask about getting on the flight.
“There were 11 people on standby in front of us for the flight but luckily we were able to get on.”
After landing, Vicki had to spend £159 on train tickets to get home to Dundee, borrowing money from family. She said she felt let down by the airline for a situation that was beyond her control.
She added: “We were completely on our own. The airline has a duty of care to its passengers and we had that right of care. We didn’t get anything — no food, no water. We had one nappy for Logan.
“I’ve tried to get in touch with Ryanair but the complaints form on their website hasn’t been working and you can’t talk to them on the phone. It’s been an absolute nightmare and the last thing you want after a holiday.”
A spokeswoman for Ryanair said: “This flight from Barcelona to Glasgow Prestwick was cancelled (due to a French ATC strike) an hour before the scheduled departure of 9.50pm local time and these customers were sent text messages and emails 8.50pm – an hour before departure – advising them of this ATC cancellation and of their options of a full refund, or free rebooking on to the next available flight or free transfer onto an alternative flight.
“These customers opted for a free transfer on to the Barcelona to Manchester flight at 10.20am on Wednesday the following day.
“We apologise sincerely for this flight cancellation which was caused by a French ATC strike.”