Anger as Jet2 axes Egypt flights
Wednesday 09 February 2011
British tourists holidaying in Egypt spoke of their anger today after a low-cost airline axed flights to a Red Sea resort.
Jet2.com is suspending services to the resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada from March 1 because of the political unrest.
The company said the "safety and comfort of our customers is our number one priority" and has pledged to refund bookings.
However, retired business consultant Peter O'Reilly, 67, who is on holiday at the four-star Oriental Resort Hotel in Nabq Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, fears he and his partner may be left stranded.
Mr O'Reilly and his partner, Jacquie Chorley, 66, are enjoying a month-long winter break after jetting out from Leeds-Bradford Airport last Friday.
The couple were due to return home on March 4 but the airline has told the pair to get a flight home with Jet2 on February 25.
Mr O'Reilly, from Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, said Jet2 should honour the original booking.
"There were a number of empty seats on the flight out and I think they are more concerned about that then anything else," he said.
"Thomson are still flying people out here and as of yesterday the Foreign Office website was advising against travel to Cairo but the Red Sea was still considered safe.
"Hardly had the lady representing the Foreign Office left the hotel after assuring us Sharm was safe when Jet2 dropped this bombshell.
"We got a call saying we had to be on their last flight out on February 25 or they would just refund us the return flight cost and we were on our own.
"They emailed us to say it was because they were concerned for our security but I think this is more about saving cash than saving lives.
"Everything is just fine here, although the hotel is two-thirds empty because other countries have told their people to leave.
"But 80% of the guests left are Brits and they certainly aren't thinking of going home with new Brits still arriving."
Mr O'Reilly said many Britons were concerned about the "domino effect" with other airlines possibly pulling out.
"There is definitely a Blitz spirit here. We are some way away from the unrest and we are just getting on with it and we will enjoy ourselves come what may."
Mrs Chorley, a retired nurse from Guiseley, West Yorkshire, added: "When I came out from Leeds-Bradford Airport last Friday there were lots of empty seats.
"I suspect it is the empty seats they are worried about rather than my welfare.
"This is my third time staying at this hotel and the staff here are wonderful and can't do enough for you. I feel completely safe here.
"Out in the streets and down on the beaches all is calm, so why are Jet2 contradicting the British Government and trying to cut my holiday short? I'm furious."
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