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Flight cancellation, unhelpful airline staff cause near riot at Gatwick


Angry scenes as passengers turn on airline

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Dec 23, 2007

(eTN) - Police had to be called after angry passengers turned on airline staff when their flight from Gatwick to Edinburgh was cancelled.

Around 150 people were left in the airport last night after their EasyJet flight was grounded by thick fog.

However, it is understood a breakdown in communication between easyJet staff and anxious passengers led to pushing and shouting, causing worried airline reps to call police.

Around eight officers from Sussex Police were sent to take control, although it is thought no arrests were made.

Passengers are said to have become angry at staff and claimed they were "unhelpful" and uninterested about whether or not they made it back to Edinburgh in time for Christmas.

The airline however, insisted they offered passengers on Flight EZ711 – which was due to leave London at around 4pm – as many alternatives as they could.

Antonia Ottley, 21, was waiting to fly home to Edinburgh with her 17-year-old sister Lindsey.

They had just spent six months in the Caribbean visiting family and had barely landed in London when they discovered their flight was cancelled.

Speaking from the airport's South Terminal she said: "The attitude of staff is unbelievable. When I tried to explain that we had to get home because we knew no-one, had no money and no jacket they just said it wasn't their problem and to come back tomorrow."

After the intervention by the girls' mother Marion, who lives in Saughton Mains and was preparing to pick them up from the airport, the girls managed to secure seats on a flight which was due to leave today.

An easyJet spokeswoman said they were working hard to help: "Passengers have been given as many options as possible. We've offered them the chance to fly to Edinburgh from other airports in London or to fly with us to Glasgow free. It isn't ideal for anyone."

A spokesman for Sussex Police commented: "I can confirm there has been an incident There have been no arrests."

No other flights into Edinburgh were cancelled yesterday.

scotsman.com

Angry scenes as passengers turn on airline
scotsman.com



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