Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weather lands Ryanair passengers in wrong French city

The passengers traveling with the low-cost airline spent hours on the ground awaiting information from the carrier on how they would be able to reach their final destination before being taken to a hotel and told they would travel by bus on Monday morning.

The plane took off from Oporto at 0700 GMT on Sunday and landed at the Nantes-Atlantique airport at 0900 GMT. Nantes and Lille are about 600 kilometres (373 miles) apart.

"We're 123 people, including children. There's no one from Ryanair at the airport and the person responsible for the airport has no solution," Ricardo Ribeiro, one of the stranded passengers told AFP, saying they had first spent four hours in the aircraft.

"There are people who don't have money to get to Lille and the Ryanair plane has taken off for Oporto again."

"We haven't even been given water. One child fainted," he said, noting they had discussed solutions with airport staff, "but it's after 5 pm (1600 GMT) and we still don't see a solution."

Remi Motte, a technical director at Nantes-Atlantique, told AFP the airports in both Lille and in Beauvais, outside of Paris, had been closed due to the weather Sunday, resulting in a diversion of several flights to Nantes. Motte said "several hundred" passengers were affected by the schedule change.

Most of them were transported to their original destination by bus, he said, but added that that solution had not been possible for the 123 people flying from Oporto to Lille.

On Sunday evening, Motte said the passengers had eventually been driven to a nearby hotel and would be taken to Lille by bus on Monday morning.

Two families, with disabled family-members, left for Lille in taxis on Sunday afternoon, he said.


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