Ryanair hits back over 11-hour Stansted flight delay reports

Ryanair hits back over 11-hour Stansted flight delay reportsBy Phil Davies

Ryanair has responded to claims that police were called during an 11-hour delay to an aircraft at Stansted.The carrier also disputed accusations made in some newspapers that passengers were trapped on board without food or water.

The airline said strong winds on February 14 forced more than 20 airlines to divert to Stansted from Heathrow and Gatwick which “significantly disrupted” handling and fuelling operations.

The Ryanair flight from Stansted to Porto was delayed by weather disruption and a subsequent fuelling delay at the airport.

“After approximately two hours waiting for fuellers, the captain requested the handling company (Swissport) to allow the passengers into the terminal which was locked,” the airline said.

“The captain switched on the aircraft’s air conditioning while waiting for Swissport staff to arrive and the cabin crew provided water to passengers.

“When Swissport failed to arrive the captain requested the police to let the passengers into the locked terminal.

“The police subsequently arrived and allowed the passengers into the terminal. Passengers were then provided with refreshment vouchers on Ryanair’s instructions.”

The Boeing 737 aircraft departed the following morning at 7.50am. Ryanair apologised on Friday to all passengers on the flight.

Swissport said: “Due to extreme weather the inbound flight from Porto was initially diverted to East Midlands and arrived some 3 hours later at Stansted to collect the passengers for the flight to Porto.

“The flight was loaded, but fuelling was not available. This caused the delay. Swissport staff were under extreme pressure dealing with an unprecedented level of flights and whilst we accept we should have unloaded the passengers sooner we simply had no one available to unload when contacted by the captain.”

“Swissport regret any delay to passengers and to Ryanair. However, in extreme circumstances, our staff worked tirelessly to ensure that diverted flights were dealt with as soon as possible.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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