Passengers hit out over airport delays

Disgruntled passengers at Manchester Airport today complained of a lack of information as they tried to reach their destinations in the wake of severe weather.

Queues snaked halfway down the Terminal 2 building as several hundred people attempted to get onto alternative flights after a spate of cancellations due to heavy snow and ice.



One angry woman confronted the airport's managing director about her lengthy wait to visit her son in the Philippines.



Bridget Fogg, 50, of Bolton, told airport chief Andrew Cornish that she had been in the queue at the KLM ticket desk since 4am and had still not reached the front in nearly seven hours.



She pleaded to him: "We have hardly moved in that queue. There is one person sitting on the desk. Why can't someone lend them a body to help people book their flights? It's very simple to book holidays on a computer."



Mr Cornish replied: "I apologise on their behalf. If I have to sit behind the desk I will."



Extra staff were soon provided at the Air France and KLM desk to provide hope for the weary travellers.



Mrs Fogg and husband Gary, 54, were due to fly to Amsterdam yesterday en route to Manila and then Borocay Island, where their son Sam is working.

"We had a two-hour delay yesterday before we finally boarded, but then we were held on the runway for five and a half hours before we were told the flight was cancelled," she complained.



"I can understand the problems with the weather, but not this. We were given an ambiguous letter telling us to contact your travel agent, but we couldn't get through to them so we joined this queue."



Mr Cornish told reporters: "It is clearly not a desirable situation. The vast majority of people are getting away. There are long delays but that is for the minority of people.



"The weather was beyond our control. It is an unusual set of circumstances when the whole of Europe and the eastern seaboard of the United States is also affected by snow.



"We are trying to give all the information we can. You can never give enough information.



"I understand why people are not happy. We will do the best we can and get people away as quickly as possible."



An airport spokeswoman added they were experiencing "knock-on effects" from yesterday's poor weather conditions but Runway 1 had been operating as normal since 11pm last night.



She said: "The safety of our passengers is our main priority and our staff are working incredibly hard to clear the ice and snow from our 750-hectare site.



"We are urging our passengers to check with their airline before they travel to the airport as bad weather in Europe and USA means some airlines have cancelled flights."







Peter Davies, 60, and wife, Lorraine, 58, from Stockton-on-Tees, were nervously waiting to see if they could secure a standby ticket after the cancellation of their flight to New Jersey yesterday.

The couple had a bag packed with Christmas presents for their two-year-old twin grandchildren who live in the United States with their son and daughter-in-law.



Mr Davies said: "We are very upset. It is a pretty trying time and it's disappointing but there's not much you can do about it.



"We visit a couple of times a year but obviously it's a special time around now and we've got the presents ready.



"We sorted ourselves out in a hotel last night but we're going home if we can't get another flight sorted today. I can't afford to lose the time off work so we'll go in the New Year."



The Davieses looked to be in luck later as they rushed to a check-in desk and said: "I think we're OK."



Anne Park, 81, of Lancaster, was not so fortunate as she said her bmibaby flight to Amsterdam was cancelled yesterday and there were no scheduled flights today.



"I'm tired out. I feel abandoned because there has been no information," she said. "It's a disgrace."



Mrs Park was planning to spend a month with her daughter who lives in the Dutch capital.



She faces spending another night in a hotel as she hopes to fly out tomorrow or even Wednesday. Her only other alternative was to take her chances in the lengthy reticketing queue at the KLM desk.



"I don't fancy my chances there," she said, pointing. "One girl has been sat over there in the same position for hours."



David Kind, 61, of Keighley, was in the Air France check-in queue at 7am today when a passenger in front of him received a text message saying their flight to Dubai was cancelled.



He said: "No-one told us anything on the desk, we had to find out by someone's else phone as we stood waiting."



His daughter stood waiting patiently in the reticketing queue as his son-in-law tried to organise an alternative flight online with a quote which would cost them several hundred pounds more than their original booking.



"We're booked in for seven nights so we can't afford to lose much time," Mr Kind added.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Content Assistant / Copywriter

    £15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

    Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

    £24000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Situated in the heart of Bradfo...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reception Manager

    £18750 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Hotel in Chadderton is a popular ch...

    Guru Careers: Marketing and Communications Manager

    £Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing and Co...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence