Holidaymakers faced 17 hour delay flying home from Cyprus just a week after having to wait an extra 18 hours to get there

Customers had already lost a night’s holiday after a bird strike meant their 1.35pm flight on Sunday was held up

Matthew Horwood
Mark Archer and Sarah Keast

Welsh holidaymakers travelling to Cyprus faced “nightmare” flight delays after they were stuck for 18 hours getting out of South Wales and then another 17 hours coming home.

A Thomas Cook Airlines flight, operated by Lithuanian firm Avion Express, was meant to have touched down in Cardiff from Larnaca at 12.30am on Monday but didn’t arrive until 5.45pm after a technical fault.

But customers who had spent a week in Cyprus had already lost a night of their holiday after a bird strike led to their 1.35pm flight to Larnaca from Cardiff on September 21 not leaving until 7am the following day, according to the South Wales Aviation Group site.

The airline, which put people up in hotels for each delay, has apologised.

Some travellers said the delay had also meant the loss of a day’s work.

Mark Archer, 24, from Bridgend, and his partner Sarah Keast, were hit by both delays.

He said: “We’re going to Thomas Cook to complain. To have two overnight delays on a weeks holiday is ridiculous.

“At least, we want a full refund for the flights and a bit of compensation for the day’s earnings lost and our transfers.”

Charmaine Lloyd, 53, and Leanne Lloyd, 42, were put up in a Premier Inn near Barry last week. Charmaine said: “We’ve had a lovely holiday but its been a nightmare, worst we’ve ever known.

“They looked after us in Larnarca but that’s besides the point. We should have been home Monday morning.”

Jack Jennings, 19, from Pontypool, who was on holiday in Ayia Napa with a group of friends, said: “It was a hassle that we didn’t need.

“The holiday was brilliant, I give it ten out of ten, but the Monday I would give a two.”

A spokesman for Thomas Cook Airlines said: “We’d like to sincerely apologise to our customers for the delay to their flight from Larnaca to Cardiff, which has been caused by an unexpected technical fault on the aircraft operating the flight.

He added that the flight that was cancelled the week before was “affected by a double bird strike on its way into Cardiff to take our customers on holiday and therefore required an inspection of the engines.”

He said hotel rooms were provided on both delays overnight.

“We know how frustrating these delays are, and we’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding,” he said.

Sourced from walesonline

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