EasyJet said they were unable to remove the luggage safely from the Manchester to Iceland flight, leaving passengers in -7C weather with nothing but the clothes on their back and handluggage
Passengers were left with only the clothes they had on and any in their hand luggage, as temperatures dropped to -7C on the northern island.
Helen Carr claimed those on the flight were forced to go shopping near Keflavik Airport. Helen, from Trafford, Manchester, was treating her partner Rick Marsh to a weekend away for his 41st birthday, Manchester Evening News reported.
The couple ended up having to buy socks and underwear, and ‘something more waterproof than jeans’. “H&M in the town centre is making a killing,” she said. “It’s the only clothes shop open and the assistant was telling us he’s served nothing but Brits all stuck with no luggage. At least we have proper shoes on. There was a lady at the airport with just Crocs and socks on.”
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A spokesperson for the airline explained that ‘extreme weather‘ meant that baggage couldn’t be safely removed from the plane. They said that high winds were “gusting above the maximum limits required for safe operation”, and that luggage was returned to Keflavik Airport from Manchester the next day.
The easyJet flight left Manchester Airport at 5.35pm on Friday. Helen said the “problems started” when the plane landed at Keflavik around 8.45pm. “First the police boarded the flight, we believe it was due to a drunk passenger being abusive,” she said.
“Then we were held on the plane for almost two hours because all the gates were full of cancelled flights so there was nowhere to park the plane. Eventually they managed to find somewhere to park but with no air bridges, so we had to wait for buses and steps to be found.”
Helen claimed that passengers finally got to baggage reclaim, but were told hours later the plane had flown back to Manchester. She said: “When we finally made it to baggage claim we waited hours only to eventually be told at about 1.45am – having landed about 8.45pm – that the pilot had decided to return to Manchester with everyone’s luggage.”
“So there’s hundreds of passengers, in freezing conditions, with just the clothes they travelled in.” She added that “plans have been ruined” and alleged that she had not received contact from easyJet other than an email confirming the baggage delay.
She added: “We came here to celebrate my partner’s birthday and fulfil his bucket list wish to see the Northern Lights. I’m not sure how we’re supposed to now do that in jeans and trainers?
“I would also guess that if that plane was still full of our luggage, there will be a plane full of passengers arriving back in the UK with no luggage. And given that it has to bring our luggage back, where will the new passengers’ luggage go? I just don’t know where they get off treating people like this.”
Another passenger expressed her frustration on X, formerly Twitter, saying her holiday had been ‘ruined’ due to the situation. She was forced to buy ski pants, base layers, walking boots, swimwear, makeup and underwear, and criticised the £25 a day compensation offered.
A third passenger also took to Twitter to voice his disappointment: “Shambolic from easyJet. Landed in Iceland, delayed on the runway for two hours to then finally get off the plane to no baggage, apparently the weather was too bad, however other flights received their bags. And to top it off, the pilot has flown back to Manchester with our bags.”
The airline confirmed that high winds made it unsafe to attach stairs to the plane after landing. A spokesperson confirmed that police attended the scene due to a ‘disruptive passenger’, but this was unrelated to the weather-induced delay.
EasyJet said in a statement: “We can confirm some flights to and from Keflavik on 2 February were disrupted as a result of adverse weather conditions in Iceland. Unfortunately due to the weather conditions, our ground staff were unable to safely disembark customers from our Manchester flight immediately after landing and we apologise that customers were onboard for some time before they could safely leave the aircraft.”
“Due to high winds gusting above the maximum limits required for safe operation, luggage had to remain onboard and was brought back to Keflavik Airport the next day where all customers were able to collect it. We want to thank passengers for their understanding and apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of the weather. The safety and welfare of our passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority.”
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