Northern Ireland

Disabled EasyJet passengers 'stranded' in London after cancelled flights

Annie and William Cochrane
Image caption Annie and William Cochrane are desperate to get home after being "stranded" in London with their grandchildren since Friday

Disabled passengers and a baby in need of prescribed milk were among EasyJet passengers "stranded" in London after flight cancellations.

Two flights from London Gatwick to Belfast International airport were cancelled on Friday evening due to adverse weather.

Some passengers had flights rescheduled for Sunday evening.

EasyJet has apologised for the inconvenience to affected passengers.

Annie Cochrane, 60, from Ballybogey, County Antrim, was travelling with four grandchildren and her disabled husband William, also 60, who uses a wheelchair.

She arrived back in Belfast on Sunday night.

She said they had been put up by EasyJet in two hotels since Friday.

'Absolute nightmare'

She added they had run out of special milk prescribed for their baby grandson, while her husband, who is a quadriplegic, had run out of medication.

Mr Cochrane explained he had been worried about not getting home after running out of medication he takes for spasms and blood pressure.

"The spasms are bad enough to throw me out of the wheelchair," he said.

"I don't have the privacy I need in the hotel room because of my disability so it has been very difficult."

Paula Norton, from Portstewart, County Londonderry, is travelling with her parents and two children.

She said they were given accommodation by EasyJet at around midnight on Friday.

Ms Norton said her mother Isabel Nevin, 61, had run out of oxygen she needs for her lung disease, while her father, who is diabetic, had no more needles to administer his medication.

They were rescheduled on a flight to Belfast on Sunday night.

Image caption Paula Norton with her parents Isabel and Peter Nevin

Kate McKeown, 64, from Downpatrick, County Down, said she was advised on Friday to make her own travel arrangements to get home.

She said she struggled to find a reasonably priced flight or hotel so eventually went to stay with a relative.

"They said to sort yourself out. I was left stranded," she said.

"I didn't have enough blood pressure medication with me but I found a chemist on Saturday who was able to sort me out. I am not sure what is going to happen now as my Sunday evening flight is now delayed."

She was also rebooked on a flight to Belfast on Sunday.

Image caption Kate McKeown, from Downpatrick, County Down, has been stranded in London since Friday

'Adverse weather'

An EasyJet spokesman confirmed the airline had experienced disruption to flights at London Gatwick on Friday "due to adverse weather conditions".

He said the airline's teams at Gatwick were aware of the specific needs of the passengers and "have done all they can to help them including prioritising accommodation and meals for them".

"These passengers were helped by an agent at Gatwick and today's (Sunday) flight was the earliest with availability," he added.

"Had we been able to provide any other flight options for them we absolutely would have done so.

"Alongside our special assistance provider, we will be providing all the assistance we can for their flight home."

The airline apologised and said customers on the cancelled flights were given the option of transferring their flight free of charge, or receiving a refund.

"Whilst hotel accommodation and meals were in short supply it was prioritised for the elderly and vulnerable. Any passengers who sourced their own accommodation or incurred any other expenses will be reimbursed."