UK

Russian plane crash: Returning Britons' stories

  • 8 November 2015
  • From the section UK
Media captionHolidaymakers returning from Sharm el-Sheikh say they were given little or poor information about when they would be brought home to the UK

Britons are continuing to arrive in the UK from Sharm el-Sheikh, after being delayed following last week's Russian plane crash in Egypt. Some have been describing their experiences of the security checks in place in Egypt. Here is what they have said.


Marc Standen, 28, from Westgate, Kent

Image copyright PA

"It was madness. They did a semi-pat down inside and we took our shoes off. I don't think it was very thorough. It was madness. Their security is terrible and they are completely overwhelmed.

"It is the lack of information that is probably the big problem, but the airport is only going to get worse. They don't have it under control. We have left our two bags behind in a pile in the middle of the terminal, and I honestly don't know if we will see them again."


Emma Beeney, 45, from Ely, in Cambridgeshire

Image copyright Emma Beeney

Ms Beeney told how on first arriving at Sharm el-Sheikh's airport, she saw Egyptian "officials" approaching the queues at passport control offering Britons the chance to skip the queue for £20 each.

"It didn't look like something dodgy, at all. They were coming along the queue and then moving on to the next person along. I didn't see if anyone took them up on it."

"It could be something official, but it could be some possibly corrupt employee - who knows, if you're getting an average wage of £1 a day."


Kelly Thorogood-Gates, 29, from Buckingham

Image copyright Reuters

Kelly (right) eventually arrived at Luton, having been scheduled to fly home on Wednesday, when she was turned away from the airport: "We sat at the airport, there were delays, there were delays, nothing was being said, and we were queuing to get on the plane, and then they started pulling people out of the queue, they started doing drugs swabs on them, searching people, going through people's bags, and we thought 'This is a bit odd'.

"And then three or four hours later the British Embassy arrived, and walked past, and we didn't know who it was but we do now. They came in, and we thought 'What's going on?', and it wasn't until my cousin rang me on my phone that we knew, and it was all of the UK that told us that we weren't going home."


Robert Cappa, 36, from Worcester Park, Surrey

Image copyright PA

"The reason why we [the Gatwick] and the Luton flight took off was because MI5 had been protecting those two planes for the past three days.

"If they weren't there protecting the two planes then we wouldn't have flown. We would've stayed. The Easyjet pilot told us that. There were RAF fighter jets in the air when we took off."


Nicky Bull from Bath

Image copyright PA

"The pilot got a round of applause and it was great. I think a lot of people will question whether they go to Egypt again.

"Not because of the terrorism because that could happen anywhere at any time but it was how we were dealt with afterwards."

"We were told when we got on the plane that the Egyptian army and MI5 had been guarding the plane. There was no way that anyone could get at it."


Nathan Hazelwood from Kent

Image copyright PA

"We are happy to be back. The British government was good; they did right, if I'm honest.

"The airlines, the embassy and the Egyptian airport security and staff were absolutely useless, and non-existent almost. They made it a bit worse than it needed to be.

"Other than that, I'm happy to be back. I feel sorry for the people that are still stuck out there. I think they are going to be stuck out there for a bit longer.

"The security in Egypt was shocking. We said that when we landed. People could pay cheap money to be fast-tracked through without being searched."

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