Furious passengers are stranded in Spain for 30 hours after TWO Virgin Atlantic planes suffer technical problems on their way back to London
- Johannesburg to London flight made emergency landing in Barcelona yesterday
- Replacement plane to pick up passengers also broke down when it arrived
Angry passengers have blasted Virgin Atlantic after they were stranded in Spain for over 30 hours when TWO of their plans developed technical faults.
A flight from Johannesburg to London was forced to make an emergency landing in Barcelona on Wednesday when one of the engines on the 787 Dreamliner developed a fault.
Passengers were told a replacement plane would be sent to pick them up – but when it arrived it too broke down.
Passengers who had already endured a wait of more than 18 hours were then stuck on the jet for a further two hours while the crew attempted to fix the fault.
When that failed, they were taken back to the terminal at Barcelona Airport and told they were be put up in a hotel overnight.
A flight from Johannesburg to London was forced to make an emergency landing in Barcelona on Wednesday when one of the engines on the 787 Dreamliner developed a fault
The flight was due to take off at 3pm UK time – meaning by the time they arrive back at Heathrow Airport they would have faced a 36 hour delay. The original flight from South Africa should have taken 12 hours.
One passenger said:’ It was just a complete joke,. We were kept in the dark about everything.
‘It was bad enough when we had to land at Barcelona, but we understood there were problems. But for the second plane to develop a problem was just ridiculous. There were a lot of angry people.
Another passenger Paul Smit, 66, said they had received no information from Virgin Atlantic.
He said they were assured the crew from the replacement flight would stay with them when they disembarked from the replacement flight.
Bu the retailer from Leicester said exhausted passengers were abandoned and left to wander the terminal until a member of the local airport staff gave them a voucher for a hotel
The Virgin flight VS450 had left Johannesburg on time, but 10 hours into the flight developed engine problems.
The captain requested to divert to Barcelona where it landed at 5am on Wednesday.
Passengers were told a replacement flight would arrive at 8pm that night from London Heathrow.
But after an 18 hour wait, and settled on the new jet they were informed by the captain that it too had technical issues.
One passenger said they captain announced that they had a problem with their communication equipment, and they were waiting for spare parts to arrive.
He said:’ The treatment we have received is just shocking. There was no customer care whatsoever.
‘Everyone just wanted to get back to London. The crew were being deluged with questions but they did not have any answers.’
Passengers were stranded for over 30 hours and have since expressed their anger online (stock image)
Some tired of waiting booked their own flights to London but were unable to travel with their luggage.
Many passengers took to Twitter to express their anger while others book their own flights back to Heathrow.
Matt Casey wrote: ‘I’ve phoned, emailed, whatsapped. Nothing works. Someone from your company needs to take responsibility.’
Craig Mach wrote: It’s nearly midnight and we can’t get to London. I am numb’.
A spokesman for Virgin Atlantic apologized for the delay and said passengers would be leaving Barcelona this afternoon.
The spokesman said:’ As a precautionary measure the VS450from Johannesburg to London diverted to Barcelona due to a technical issue. The safety and security of our customers remains our highest priority and wasn’t compromised at any point.
‘Unfortunately, our recovery flight to London has been delayed and is now due to depart Barcelona later today,
‘The majority of our customers have been provided with overnight accommodation ahead of their onward flight We would like to sincerely apologise for the delay and inconvenience caused.’