herald

Thursday 2 October 2014

Passengers hit by 18-hour delay in Aer Lingus row

AER Lingus passengers were furious after they experienced an 18-hour delay on a leased plane for their flight home to Dublin -- amid the cabin crew row over rosters.

The flight from Lyons, France to Dublin was operated by Monarch Airlines (MA) on behalf of Aer Lingus, and although it was scheduled to depart Lyons at 11.15am on Sunday, it only left the airport at 3.30am yesterday.

Passengers became irate on Sunday when very little information was being conveyed to them about the delay, and food vouchers and accommodation were handed out at a very late stage.

The MA aircraft was delayed due to a faulty crew oxygen cylinder, according to MA, and a part had to be sourced and delivered to the airport.

Aer Lingus has been leasing aircraft and crew from other airlines to continue its operations during the strike.

The strike action has now entered its third week and has caused massive disruptions for passengers.

One 24-year-old Dublin man, who was returning home to work after a skiing holiday with 12 friends, said he got a €10 food voucher hours after the delay was announced.



Communication

He said there was a complete lack of communication about the progress on the plane and the continued changes to departure times.

"Firstly they said to go back to the departure gate at 5.30pm but then they said 8.30pm. Then we saw a paltry letter with Aer Lingus written on it, and they said you could change our flight if you wanted to.

"But this was issued at 9pm, and it's pretty useless saying you can change your flight at that stage.

"Myself and the group waited patiently until 10.40am, but then there were no cabin crew and flight attendants so they told us they were still unable to fly. To tell us this with only 20 minutes to go before departure was an insult.

"It wasn't until the young families asked about hotels and mattresses that they offered us accommodation.

"We arrived at 4.45am and there was no one from Aer Lingus to meet us there. I'll be writing to them but I don't expect to get a lot of sympathy."

An Aer Lingus spokesperson said the aircraft developed a technical fault at Lyons airport prior to departure.

She said: "Passengers were offered three meal vouchers each during the duration of the day and a letter was given to each passenger explaining the reason for the delay and to apologise for the inconvenience."

hnews@herald.ie

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