A ‘gutted’ family have shared their upset after their EasyJet flight from Manchester Airport was canceled just ‘moments’ before they took off due to a technical issue. Joanna Lovell, who lives in Hull, East Yorkshire, had been looking forward to a trip to Turkey with her two children, partner Jack and his son de ella, her parents, sister, brother-in-law, and their two children de ella .
The family booked the holiday back in 2020 for 2021, but the trip was canceled due to the pandemic. Two years after originally planning the holiday, the group of 11 headed to Manchester Airport on Thursday morning (May 26) to finally depart for the trip.
They checked in, went through security, enjoyed some pre-holiday food and drink, before arriving at the gate. But shortly before boarding their EasyJet flight to Antalya, it was suddenly cancelled.
READ MORE: Families facing ‘hours’ of queues at Manchester Airport for TUI bag-drop
EasyJet had to cancel or delay hundreds of flights due to the IT issue, reports YorkshireLive. A statement from EasyJet on Thursday confirmed the issue and said their specialists had worked to restore the IT systems.
Joanna, founder of Lovell Films and former Hull Daily Mail reporter, said she was due to fly from Manchester to Antalya at 1.35pm. Seven hours later she said she had still been waiting to find out if they could go on their much-anticipated trip.
“Our bags went on the plane then while we were queuing to board we saw them coming off, then the crew all came off so we were all speculating,” Joanna explained. “We then got an email from EasyJet saying it was cancelled. We were told 400 EasyJet flights between 1-3pm nationwide were cancelled.
“This was not long after we found out, with people trying to rebook flights and find out what was going on. There was no staff in sight, no help, and no one to talk to. I understand these things happen but families were left We were told for two hours we couldn’t move, so we were sat in no man’s land at the gate, just stranded.”
The mum-of-two, who said the family were “gutted” when they heard about the cancellation, said she tried to speak to EasyJet staff members, but they too appeared to not know what was happening with the canceled flight. She added: “It was just the lack of explanation, we found out via an email when queuing to board. No announcement.
“One staff member I did collar said he’s never known anything like it, he had no information but said all of a sudden they got a message saying ‘do not fly’.”
Passengers have been spotted at Manchester Airport crowding outside of gates, with many sitting on their bags due to lack of space. Police were also seen at the airport attempting to control the “absolute chaos”, Joanna added. “Due to going through security we had to be escorted through arrivals and back through passport control to ‘re-enter’ the country we hadn’t left. Police had to be called in as you can imagine,” she said.
“We’re absolutely gutted! The holiday was canceled due to Covid by a year, then we finally got through security, got right to boarding and then it was cancelled! I’ve never been to an airport, through security, had everything checked then walked out arrivals on the same day.”
Others who also had their flights canceled as a result of the IT issue spoke to the MEN about their upset. Sue Longden, who was also set to fly to Antalya to celebrate her 60th birthday, said: “We are not able to get out there. We just felt binned off. We do not even know if we will be reimbursed.”
An easyJet spokesperson apologized for the disruption, and advised passengers to apply for compensation. The firm’s statement said: “easyJet can confirm that the earlier IT systems issues have now been rectified. Unfortunately, they resulted in some cancellations earlier today and while we expect to operate most of our remaining flying program some may still be subject to some disruption in the coming hours.
“We advise customers due to travel with us to continue to check Flight Tracker for the status of their flight before making their way to the airport. We apologize for the inconvenience caused and customers can apply for compensation in line with regulations.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.