Friends' fury as Belfast flight is cancelled at short notice
Three friends have told of their fury after being left high and dry when their flight from Belfast to Edinburgh was cancelled at the last minute due to a disruptive passenger.
Jack Thompson, Michael Slater and Katie Gillanders, all aged 20, were due to fly from Belfast International Airport with easyJet to the Scottish capital on the 8.25am EZY481 service yesterday.
When they received an out-of-the-blue cancellation text message alert at 11.15pm the night before - without any explanation - their travel plans were thrown into complete disarray.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, an irate Jack told of easyJet's "total lack of communication" and "extremely awful handling" of the "fiasco" which has now left them more than £300 out of pocket - but which could have cost them double that had they not changed carriers.
"If we hadn't made a snap decision to switch to a FlyBe flight we would have lost hundreds of pounds that we'd already spent on renting an apartment for a long weekend," he said. "What angers me most, however, is how we were treated.
"When I called the airport twice before midnight on Wednesday after receiving the text they refused to explain anything and I was told to call back at 4am.
"But we actually weren't able to speak to anyone from easyJet until 7am yesterday, which isn't good enough, and even then the best they could do was offer us a 9pm flight to Glasgow."
Jack, a make-up artist with Charlotte Tilbury, added: "When I asked why our flight had been cancelled I was told the service was dropped after a violent, disruptive passenger caused so much distress to the cabin crew - who had been due to man EZY481 - that the personnel had to be replaced."
An easyJet spokeswoman apologised for the cancellation, which she said was "outside of the airline's control".
"This was due to the aircraft due to operate this flight being delayed overnight in Paphos following a passenger behaving disruptively," she said. "As no replacement aircraft was available, all passengers due to travel on this flight were given the option of transferring their flight free of charge or obtaining a refund at www.easyjet.com and offered hotel accommodation if needed."
Belfast native Jack said all three of them had stayed in Katie's house near Ballynure that Wednedsay night as it was closest to Aldergrove.
But, after easyJet let them down, that very decision almost made them miss their flights yesterday morning, because they then had to travel to Belfast City Airport instead.
Jack said he'd discussed the matter with Katie, a visual director for a fashion store, and retail assistant Michael and that they've all agreed they won't travel with easyJet in future.