Manchester Airport might be England’s third busiest airport, but it is slowly gaining the moniker of one of the most inefficient airports in the country.
A string of sudden flight cancellations have left passengers traveling within England and heading abroad stranded for hours. Recently, over 86 flights were either grounded or cancelled, many without prior warning. With more than half the travellers under the age of 10, disgruntlement made for an unsettling atmosphere at the airport.
A Sunday of chaos
Over 17,000 passengers found themselves stuck at Manchester Airport on May 20th as flights that were unable to refuel themselves were not permitted to take off until alternate fuel provisions were made.
Manchester has been one of the biggest hit airports in the power cut crisis that has Britain in its grips. Loss of power in various sectors of England have resulted in major fuel shortage issues in airports. As many as 69 flights were cancelled in the early hours of Sunday morning and by 2:00PM, the count had crossed 86. Airport authorities confirmed that as many as 90 flights experienced temporary issues by end of day.
With little to no information for the cause of the delay, passengers were left wondering and fuming. Many took to social media, posting pictures of the chaos at the airport. Heather Lucas, a passenger travelling with family, shared pictures of her 7-year-old and 10-year-old sons sleeping on the floor while waiting for flights to resume. She and many other parents expressed their displeasure with the developments and said the incident had affected their holiday spirit. Many passengers, like Spain-bound Martin Keogh and Greece-boundRachael Smith, termed their ordeals as “a nightmare” and prayed for the issue to be sorted so they could be on their way.
After a tiring three-hour wait, passengers whose flights were indefinitely delayed or cancelled were moved to hotels, while the rest were requested to accommodate the inconvenience. With no alternative lodging arrangements available, many children and adults were forced to sleep on the floor, on chairs, and even on luggage.
While chaos reigned in the waiting zones of Manchester Airport, tempers flared insight aircraft that were grounded on the runway. Many of the delayed flights which were ready for departure were left stranded on the runway for hours. With no opportunity to head back out to the airport, passengers started to feel cooped-up and claustrophobic inside the aircraft.
Flights that experienced the highest number of cancellations and delays were those of Flybe, Emirates, and Etihad.
Mismanagement and zero compensation
Manchester Airport released an official communication later in the day, requesting all travellers to confirm with their respective flying partners about the departure time before leaving from their homes or hotels. Their subsequent communication on Twitter only confirmed that the power issue had been solved, but did not intimate passengers about when their flights would take-off.
There was also no mention of any compensation or remedy for the losses that many passengers faced because of the cancellations and delays. Aggrieved passengers confirmed that they would apply for refunds and remedies under the Supreme Court’s decision to make airlines liable for damages due to unexplained delays and cancellations.