EXCLUSIVE Woman, 55, slams ‘pathetic’ easyJet customer service claiming she and friends had to sleep on Tenerife terminal floor after flight home was delayed by nearly 24 hours
- Michelle Staveley, 55, was stranded at Tenerife South Airport for 24 hours
- She and her friends slept on terminal floor as their Easyjet flight was delayed
A holidaymaker has told how she and her friends had to sleep on a terminal floor after her easyJet flight home was delayed by almost 24 hours.
Michelle Staveley blasted easyJet over their ‘pathetic customer service’ as they were left stranded at Tenerife South airport waiting for their return flight to Manchester.
The 55-year-old finance manager said they were promised an overnight hotel stay – but ended up having to return to the terminal with nowhere to stay.
‘It was just a complete nightmare and easyJet just didn’t want to know,’ said Michelle.
‘There was no customer service and no one to give us any information. It was just pathetic, and I’ve never experienced anything like that before and never want to again.’
Michelle Staveley, 55, of Blackpool, and her husband Peter found themselves stranded at Tenerife South Airport for 24 hours
Michelle, from Blackpool, Lancashire, said the terminal at Tenerife South became dangerously overcrowded as numerous flights were delayed or cancelled.
A weekend strike by French air traffic controllers had reduced the number of passenger jets that could safely travel through their airspace with airlines across Europe having to cancel or delay flights.
Michelle said he is most upset that no one from the airline bothered to tell passengers what was happening.
‘There must have been over 1,000 people crammed in the terminal. It was baking hot, and just awful. People did not have a clue what was going on and given this was a crisis you would have expected the airline to have people to help and answer questions. ‘
The nightmare end to a week-long holiday on the sunshine island she had enjoyed with her husband Peter and six friends began when they arrived at the airport for their 6.30pm flight to Manchester on Saturday.
After going through security, they took their seats by the gate and an hour before their scheduled departure were sent an email saying flight EZY1902 had been delayed.
Michelle Staveley and her friends endured an uncomfortable sleep on the floor of Tenerife South Airport.
An hour later they received another email to say the flight was now cancelled.
Other easyJet flights to Berlin, Amsterdam and Basel were cancelled around the same time.
Michelle said:’ There were just two young girls on the desk and they were almost in tears. They were overwhelmed and had no answers for anyone. No one would say why the flight was cancelled. There was no announcement and people just found out about the cancellation by email.
‘We were told to go back through security and collect our luggage and coaches would be laid on to take us to a hotel.’
Michelle said after waiting until 10pm they were then told by staff to find their own accommodation and transportation to a hotel.
‘There were over 1,000 people all trying to find somewhere to go. The queue for the taxis stretched for hundreds of yards. I was told there was still a queue after three hours into the early hours of the morning.
‘I tried to find someone to speak to at the airport, but they were not interested.
‘There were disabled people who were given no help.’
Michelle and her party, who included her disabled sister-in-law, returned to the terminal to try and get some sleep.
One of her group even slept in the disabled toilet in an attempt to get some rest away from the noise in the terminal.
‘It was just disgusting and such a stressful evening,’ said Michelle who eventually boarded her flight at noon on Sunday.
By the time their plane touched down at Manchester at 4pm on Sunday flight tracking radar showed it had been delayed 22 hours.
Other easyJet flights had similar delays from the airport.
A flight to Berlin arrived 21 hours late while the budget airline flight to Basel in Switzerland was delayed 18 hours.
‘We had a wonderful winter break but it was just ruined by easyJet. People who got off the plane in Manchester were just exhausted from lack of sleep. It was dangerous for people to drive home.
An EasyJet spokesman said: ‘Due to French national strike action including air traffic control services causing disruption to some flights operating to and from France and through French airspace, flight EZY1902 from Tenerife to Manchester on 11 March was delayed overnight due to air traffic control delays on the inbound flight to Tenerife, which led to the crew reaching their safety regulated maximum operating hours.
‘We did all possible to minimise the impact of the disruption and arranged hotel rooms and meals for most customers, however due to high demand in Tenerife we were unable to source hotel rooms for everyone and so we advised those who arranged their own that they will be reimbursed. We are aware that some customers stayed in the terminal and while our team in the airport provided refreshments to make them as comfortable as possible, we are sorry for the difficulty this will have caused.
‘The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority and while this was outside of our control, we would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience experienced as a result of the strike action.’
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