Gatwick has become my second home as I report on the drone that held up an entire airport

After talking to dozens of upset, confused and increasingly angry passengers, I am not surprised at extreme reactions, but I think our view of this unhappy episode may change

Simon Calder
Saturday 22 December 2018 14:27
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Passengers wait in the South Terminal building at London Gatwick Airport after flights resumed.
Passengers wait in the South Terminal building at London Gatwick Airport after flights resumed.

Costa Coffee in the Arrivals area of Gatwick airport has been my second home for the past few days. Starting on Wednesday evening, unauthorised drone activity brought the world’s busiest runway to a halt for 33 hours, triggering the cancellation of 1,000 flights and stranding upwards of 150,000 passengers.

I have spent much of the days before Christmas explaining the bountiful rights that a traveller has when their flight from Gatwick is grounded for any reason: acts of God or malicious drone, air-traffic control strike or atrocious weather.

But one response to a tweet on the subject was: “You should have the right to take a baseball bat to the scum who caused all the trouble in the first place.”

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