Andrew Baylis, 47, thought he had snagged a bargain, spending £5 on a flight to Dublin – but he ended up spending five-and-a-half hours waiting on board the plane for takeoff
Image: Andrew Baylis)
A supermarket worker had their long-awaited reunion with friends in Dublin “ruined” after their £5 Ryanair flight was delayed for five hours.
Andrew Baylis booked a day trip to Ireland during the company’s October flash sale and bagged a bargain with a £15 return flight.
The 47-year-old was headed out to visit friends he hadn’t seen in five years, BirminghamLive reports.
However, his trip was ruined after he was forced to wait five hours on the plane – without it taking off.
The huge delays meant his day trip to see friends was cut in half and he was left with barely any time in Dublin.
Andrew arrived early at Birmingham Airport for the 8:05am flight on November 11.
However, passengers were not able to start boarding the aircraft until 8:30am and were then told that the plane had no fuel.
Things quickly went from bad to worse when, after a two-hour wait, a Tannoy announcement informed them the plane would now need de-icing as a result of the snow.
Andrew said: “We didn’t start boarding the plane until 8.30am. So it was already late, and by then it had just started snowing.
“They shut the doors and then the pilot came on the Tannoy and said we had no fuel.
“Apparently the crew were due to board another plane at the other end of the airport but there was a last-minute change of aircraft, but it had no fuel in it.
“We waited about two hours to be refuelled and then it started snowing again.
“The pilot said we now needed to wait for someone to come and de-ice us. We waited another two hours but in the meantime, another Ryanair plane landed, parked next to ours and we watched it being de-iced before us, then it took off again.
“By this point people were wanting to get off the plane and the pilot agreed those who wanted to could get off.
“People were queuing up towards the back but then had to wait an hour to an hour and a half because no one was available to bring the steps.
“We were sat on this plane for five hours and we weren’t offered anything to drink or eat.
“It got to about 12.30pm and then we were told the plane didn’t need de-icing anymore because it had warmed up. What little ice and snow there was on the plane had melted.”
Andrew said the aircraft finally left the runway five and a half hours late – forcing him to cancel his lunch plans with friends and leaving him with only four hours in the city before he had to return to the airport for his flight home.
“It was about five and a half hours in the end and it wasn’t very comfortable. We had to keep our masks on the whole time so it was pretty miserable,” said Andrew.
“All this for an hour-long flight.
“It did ruin our plans. We wanted to go shopping and have a meal but we ended up just going back to our friends’ house for a couple of hours for a catch-up, then I had to head back to the airport.”
To make matters worse, Andrew’s claim for compensation from Ryanair has since been refused.
He said: “Just before we got off the plane in Dublin, the crew apologised for the delay and the pilot said over the Tannoy it was not weather-related, but because of a lack of ground staff at the airport.
“I was reading on their website that anything from a three hour flight delay means you can be entitled to compensation.
“I put in a delayed claim, and was informed it was declined, as it was due to adverse weather. However it wasn’t, and this was confirmed with the pilot.
“If it was a weather related delay, then why was a Ryanair flight parked next to us allowed to depart before us?”
He added: “A truly horrific experience.”
A spokesperson for the airline told BirminghamLive the delay was “beyond Ryanair’s control”.
A Ryanair spokesperson said: “This flight from Birmingham to Dublin (November 27) was delayed due to adverse weather conditions beyond Ryanair’s control.
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“Passengers onboard the aircraft were able to purchase refreshments which can be expensed back on Ryanair.com.
“As per EU 261 Law, passengers are not entitled to compensation if the flight delay is outside of Ryanair’s control.
“A member of the Ryanair Customer Service Dept. has been in touch with the customer directly to assist with navigating any expenses due to them.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.