Flybe passengers from Newquay to Heathrow use bus replacement on first day of new flight route

‘Got to Heathrow at 3am. Work tomorrow at 8am. Never again’

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Monday 01 April 2019 09:59
Comments
Cornwall connected with Heathrow by Flybe in 70 minute flight

The first day of Flybe’s new link from Newquay to Heathrow ended in a shambles, with passengers on the early evening flight from the Cornish airport taken on a six-hour bus ride to London instead.

Passengers for flight BE2187 were due to board at 6.15pm on Sunday. But 15 minutes later there was an announcement of a technical problem.

After engineers were unable to fix an electrical fault, the flight was cancelled at 8pm.

Passengers were offered the option of flying on Monday – but not until 2.30pm. Most chose to travel on the bus, which set off at 9pm.

One passenger, Chris Dennis, said: “Got to Heathrow at 3am. Work tomorrow at 8am. Never again.”

Another traveller, Gabrielle Lee, opted to stay in Cornwall overnight, but complained to the airline: “Had to fight for you to pay for a cab to get me to overnight accommodation. Staff seemed unprepared and unfamiliar with how to help.”

Flybe has confirmed that all passengers will be entitled to compensation of €250 (£215) for the cancellation.

The Monday service on the route appears to be intact, though the first flight left with a 20-minute delay.

But the only flight of the day from Newquay to Birmingham has been cancelled.

Elsewhere on the Flybe network, passengers are reporting widespread disruption on the first working day of the new summer timetable.

The first flight of Monday morning from Flybe’s Exeter headquarters to London City was grounded.

George Ball tweeted: “OK @Flybe you really have gone the extra mile this time... Cancelling our flight EXT to LCY “unexpectedly”, when we have to be in London early tomorrow for a doctor’s appointment.

“I fly this route every week on business, and I have seen my fair share of ‘inconvenience’. But this tops the lot.

The airline said: “Flight BE1307 has been cancelled due to operational reasons, specifically cabin-crew reasons.”

The first flight of the day from Birmingham to Amsterdam was cancelled with 12 hours’ notice.

The only departure of the day from East Midlands to Jersey and back was also grounded.

In a bizarre 1 April twist, passengers on the first Flybe departure from Heathrow to Edinburgh on Monday monring received a message saying their 8.45am flight had been revised to 1am – in other words, they had already missed it.

The arrival time in the Scottish capital was also shown as 1am.

Luke McCarthy tweeted: “Looks like (hoping!) @flybe automated systems have a problem with a combination of British Summer Time and April Fools’ Day.”

Zero hours: the apparent flight time from Heathrow to Edinburgh

Gary Menzies reported from Edinburgh airport that passengers were told by SMS and email that their flight to Belfast was delayed, but ground staff were not and insisted that everyone boarded the bus to the non-existent plane.

“Flybe playing an absolute April Fools' blind this morning with the whole ‘It’s delayed, no it’s not, board the bus, plane’s actually in Belfast’ routine.

“Completely fell for it.”

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