Europe

Snowdrifts leave Ryanair passengers stranded for 10 hours

Flights grounded at Manchester Airport due to snow

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Passengers on a Ryanair flight were stranded at Manchester Airport for 10 hours after their trip was cancelled due to unsavoury weather conditions. Student Daniel Jones had a two-day holiday to Oslo planned, however, he had to queue for several hours for a refund as his flight to the Norwegian capital was grounded by the snow.

He arrived at the airport at 5am last Saturday ready for a 7:55am take off, but due to both runways being closed his flight had to be cancelled.

Mr Jones, 22, from Ormskirk in Lancashire was stuck at the airport for 10 hours trying to get a refund.

He said passengers on the Ryanair plane were told at 7:54am that their flight would be delayed because of the snow.

The student said: “We were told they’ve blocked the runway so won’t be leaving for another two hours at least.”

After boarding half an hour before departure time, Mr Jones said passengers were left on the plane for two hours before being asked to disembark and return to the terminal to await a new flight.

In spite of the weather at that point they were told the flight would still be going ahead.

He said: “They said, ‘we’ll get you to where you’re going, yours is going ahead’ … then at about 12pm they started announcing flights were cancelled.

“Now here we are in this queue – they’ve got two people on the desk and there’s probably over 100 people waiting.”

His Ryanair journey cost him just £15, and he was told at the desk he would be able to apply online for a refund for the cost of his hostel in Oslo and his return flight to Manchester.

However, Mr Jones claimed the airport should have been better prepared for the weather conditions.

He added: “The weather didn’t seem that extreme, we were flying to Oslo where it’s much colder and I’m guessing flights are still going there.

“I don’t know what the situation is with Ryanair, I hope we get a refund but there is no option for an alternative flight.”

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A Manchester Airport spokesperson said yesterday: “In anticipation of adverse weather forecast for this weekend, snow-clearing teams have been on site since Friday.

“Both runways were fully cleared and treated ahead of this morning’s first scheduled flight.

“Health and safety is our top priority and when snow on the airfield reaches a particular depth, it must be cleared before operations can continue.

“Once (yesterday) morning’s flying programme was under way, there was a fresh period of heavy snowfall, which required further clearing to take place.

“The decision was therefore made to temporarily close airfield operations from 07.45 to 11.30 whilst clearing could take place to return to safe levels.

“We apologise to all affected passengers for any inconvenience and thank them for their patience.”

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