A ‘completely helpless’ Northampton family have criticised a major airline after being ‘abandoned’ in Gran Canaria.
Becki Ramena, from Abington Vale, whose recent trip to Las Palmas took an unexpected turn when her easyJet flight back to Gatwick was cancelled on Monday, August 28 following the network failure that grappled UK’s air traffic control.
After celebrating her mother’s 70th birthday on the picturesque island of Gran Canaria, Becki, her partner and her 14-year-old son have been stranded on holiday for seven days and counting.
The 43-year-old said: “We’re on an Easy Jet package holiday so we thought that meant we had all the protections if anything went wrong.
"Everyone [other than Easy Jet] got bussed out to their hotels and were being looked after until they could get new flights. All the easyJet customers, of which there were about three flights’-worth, were just left stranded at the airport. We spent 40 hours at the airport with no easyJet rep. You couldn’t get through to them on the phone or via customer service either.
“We’ve been left here and told by easyJet to sort ourselves out and then try and claim the money we’ve spent back. We’re supposed to be protected.
"They’re supposed to put you up and look later you until your next flight, that hasn’t happened.”
Asked how she’s feeling, Becki said, ‘completely helpless’.
“We’ve been abandoned,” she said. “We feel completely helpless."
"Easy Jet still don’t know we’re ok because no one’s asked. I spent the morning crying thinking are our flights going to be cancelled again tonight (Monday, September 4).
“You book these things, you go on a package holiday because you think these things are protected but the reality is, you’re not with Easy Jet. I would hate this to happen to another family.
“I’ve watched babies sleeping on the floor, a child have a seizure, people running out of medication. No one seems to matter.”
The family has had to shell out an extra £1,000 on emergency accommodation while they wait for their flight out of Gran Canaria.
Becki, who works at St Andrews Hospital, said: “We can’t be the only Brits still stranded out here. We’ve been fortunate we can afford an emergency hotel but others aren’t as lucky.
"I’m just trying to make sure this doesn’t happen to another family.”
She added: “You'd never think you'd want to come back to Northampton so much."
Becki is hoping she will be on a return flight tonight at around 8pm tonight.
An easyJet spokeswoman said: “We’re really sorry to hear that Rebecca’s family’s flight home was cancelled as a result of the Air Traffic Control systems failure, which caused significant disruption to flying programmes for all airlines across the UK.
“We’ve been working round the clock to support our customers, continuously looking for the most suitable alternative flights to book them onto, as soon as they become available, and we’re bringing Rebecca and her family home today. We sourced alternative accommodation for our impacted customers where possible, however we also advised our customers that if they were able to source their own overnight accommodation until their new flight departs, they can also claim reasonable expenses for this.
“Once again, whilst the situation is entirely out of our control, we understand the situation is frustrating, and we’re really sorry that Rebecca’s family has been impacted.”