Eileen Booker said she would never fly with EasyJet again (Picture: SWNS)
Dozens of pensioners aged up to 92 years old missed out on their first holiday since the pandemic started after flight problems.
The group of 52, from Kent, were meant to fly from Gatwick to the Isle of Man with EasyJet for four nights away.
But after a nightmare 12-hour day, they ended up back where they started.
Although their flight took off, it had to land in Manchester due to high winds. They thought they would be able carry on, but after a three and a half hour wait they were flown back to Gatwick.
The group, aged from 75 to 92, then waited for 90 minutes at Gatwick before being told there was no hotel accommodation for them and they couldn’t be booked onto another flight for three days.
But the retirees said other flights from the original day made it to the Isle of Man.
The whole group ended up cancelling their £675 a head trip.
EasyJet then said they wouldn’t refund the flight cost as the wind was out of their control.
Customers queue at the Vueling and EasyJet check in desks at Gatwick Airport today (Picture: SWNS)
The retirees – from Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and Hythe – say they are disgusted with their treatment and will never use the airline again.
Eileen Booker, who organises trips for over-70s through her Blean-based Booker Trip, said: ‘We had people in their late 80s and even a 92-year-old.
‘We were all hungry, tired, it was such a long day for nothing.
‘It was absolutely disgusting the way were treated. Other planes were landing on the Isle of Man, other people had on-board apps showing that. Why they chose to abandon us I don’t know.’
The group of 53 had set off by coach from Canterbury at 7.30am on May 22.
Ms Booker, 77, said the captain on the return flight had told them that on arrival at Gatwick there would be a coach to take them to a hotel for overnight accommodation and there would be a new flight in the morning.
She said: ‘We thought we’d salvage some of our five-day holiday.
‘But when we got back to Gatwick, nobody at EasyJet knew anything about us and they said there wasn’t any availability for a group of 53 on a flight until Wednesday.
‘I had to make the decision to abandon the trip. We lost our holiday because of them.’
The party did not get home until the early hours of May 23.
Some of the pensioners who missed out on their trip (Picture: KMG/SWNS)
A spokesperson for the airline said: ‘We contacted customers to advise them of the cancellation and their options to rebook or receive a refund and with information on arranging hotel accommodation.
‘Unfortunately, we are unable to provide rooms for all customers and we advise that anyone who sources their own hotel accommodation will be reimbursed.
‘Our team are reaching out to Ms Booker to apologise for her experience and to reimburse her and her group for their expenses.
‘While this was outside of our control, we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation.
‘The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is our highest priority.’
Because the cause of the cancellation was considered as an extraordinary circumstance, EasyJet will not pay out any compensation.
The company will however, reimburse customers for any reasonable expenses.
It is understood other planes may have been able to fly to the Isle of Man at the same time due to changes in the weather at the time of arrival.
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