A Derry woman said she is ‘disgusted’ with the customer service provided by Flybmi when her flight home from London was cancelled.
Una McNaught, from the Waterside, has vowed never to use the airline again after she waited over 24 hours and had to travel to a different airport to get a flight home.
She said that the passengers due to board the flight last Friday from Stansted to City of Derry Airport felt ‘abandoned’ by the airline after it received conflicting messages about the status of their flight.
Una, who had been in London with her sister Noreen, said she received a message on the way to the airport to tell her the flight was delayed, then another to inform passengers it was back on schedule. “We checked in and were told there were no delays, but there was no aircraft on the runway. There was nobody at the Flybmi desk to ask what was happening. Other passengers told us they had received messages to say the flight was cancelled but no one knew what was going on’.
Una said staff from other airlines attempted to try and find out what was happening.
“It was an awful situation. There was a young fella there crying his eyes out because his sister was getting married the next day, other people had tickets booked for the Irish Open Golf and there was a disabled woman who had been visiting her son who lived three hours away.”
“It felt like we had been abandoned as there was no Flybmi staff to provide us with information. I tried to ring them but there was a recorded message saying the offices were closed until Monday.”
However, she was full of praise for City of Derry Airport staff.
“I rang them and they were able to put me in touch with Flybmi. We got more help from the staff in Derry than we did from Flybmi. No one wants to fly on a plane with technical issues and I would have understood if they told us that, but we couldn’t get any information from them.”
Una was eventually told the flight was cancelled and was offered me an alternative flight from Heathrow to Belfast at 7pm the following day. She was told if she wanted an earlier flight she would had to pay over £450. However, she did get an earlier flight by going on stand-by.
A spokesperson from Flybmi said: “Flybmi can confirm that there were some cancellations to flights on Friday, July 6. This was due to a technical fault which our engineers were unable to fix during the day, meaning both the morning and evening flights were subject to cancellation.
“Our disruptions team were on hand at both Derry and Stansted liaising directly with crew and ground airport handlers who in turn related all relevant information to passengers. Our records indicate that affected customers were offered alternatives and the relevant care.
“All passengers were offered the choice of travelling via another route, on another date or a full refund.”