We were left stranded after our cancelled flight, say NI friends
A group of friends from Belfast were left stranded in Luton Airport after their easyJet flight was cancelled without any prior warning.
Morgan Braiden and her friends were due to return to Belfast International Airport on Sunday night but it was only after checking the airline's app that they realised it had been cancelled.
They returned home last night but were forced to fly out of Gatwick Airport - nearly two hours from Luton.
Their outward journey from Belfast International was also delayed by three hours.
Speaking about their ordeal, software tester Morgan explained that their return flight had already been delayed by three hours to 10.40pm.
When they arrived at Luton Airport, easyJet handed them £3 vouchers to cover the cost of their dinner.
Morgan (24) and her friends Victoria Allen, Robyn McGrath, Chloe English, Patricia Kelly and Zoe Bambrick decided to check the easyJet app to see the latest update on their flight.
Panic set in as they realised it was cancelled and they went to the departure gate to find out what was going on.
"There was a massive queue and there were kids crying," Morgan told the Belfast Telegraph from London.
"There was only one easyJet staff member standing there trying to handle it. She was just giving out a piece of paper that said go on the easyJet app to find hotels and flights.
"There was a lot of older folks there and they were saying that they didn't know how to use the app."
The group was allocated accommodation in Hampton by Hilton Hotel in Luton, but they couldn't leave the airport for another four hours while they waited for their luggage to be returned.
"The staff came out with the trolleys and just left the cases sitting there so if you weren't sitting anywhere near the check out you wouldn't have known your case was there," added Morgan.
The group returned home last night after flying home on an easyJet flight from Gatwick Airport at 6.30pm. When asked if she would fly with easyJet in the future, Morgan replied: "Honestly, I really don't think so.
"We're all either 23 or 24 and we're here on our own and it has caused us so much stress and anxiety."
EasyJet explained that the flight had been cancelled due to several earlier air traffic control (ATC) restrictions affecting overflying aircraft in the Pisa region.
"We did our best to recover our flight programme by making multiple crew changes in an attempt to minimise the knock on disruption caused by these ATC restrictions," easyJet added.
"Unfortunately, we were unable to operate the Belfast rotation.
"We had no option but to cancel these flights."