Wisbech couple caught up in holiday flight hell - passengers were passing out and fitting because of heat inside plane's cabin
A Fenland couple have described the nightmare end to their Greek island holiday after being trapped for hours on a plane in stifling conditions.
Kevin and Kerry Shippey were among the 214 passengers on the Thomas Cook flight due to fly home from Zante to Stanted airport on Sunday.
They described the experience as a ‘nightmare’ after witnessing one passenger have a fit as temperatures inside the plane – stuck on the island’s runway for more than three hours – rose to well over 30 degrees centigrade.
Kevin said: “It was an absolute nightmare. We were coming home from a fantastic holiday and were due to take off at around 2pm.
“We were told there was a delay of around an hour-and-a-half but they bussed us out to the plane at about 2.30pm and we then sat there without air conditioning for over three hours. One woman had a fit, other people were passing out from the heat and others were being sick – you can imagine what that did to the smell inside a very hot cabin.
“There seemed to be no communication, the crew kept telling us we would be taking off shortly, but eventually the flight was cancelled and we all had to get off the plane at around 6.30pm.
“We’d boarded the plane expecting a three-and-a-half hours flight home – instead we were stuck on the runway for over three hours. The crew had run out of water to give people, it was very uncomfortable sitting absolutely drenched in sweat. But it was worse for those travelling with children.
“A woman at the front of the plane was having a fit and no one seemed to know what to do. When we eventually got off the plane an ambulance took her to hospital. Other people had to be carried off – it was horrendous.
“Even after we got back into the airport they told us we would be flying shortly, then at around 9pm they told us the flight was cancelled. They then took us for something to eat before shipping us out to different hotels.
“We eventually flew out on Monday morning. We have all been given complaint forms to fill in.”
In a statement Thomas Cook said: “Flight MT1805 from Zante to Stansted was delayed due to a technical issue with the on-board air conditioning.
“We tried to fix the issue so that we could get customers on their way as soon as possible, but we recognise that we should have disembarked the aircraft earlier.
“We are very sorry for the discomfort our customers experienced.
“All customers will be given a letter of apology with detail on their entitlement to compensation.”