Stranded BA passengers forced to sleep on airport floor

A flight that was cancelled by UK-based airline, British Airways, left stranded passengers with little option but to spend the night on the airport floor.

140 passengers that were expecting to fly from Venice Marco Polo airport in Italy to Gatwick in the UK were left stranded at the airport overnight due to the flight’s cabin crew having worked their maximum hours. The flight departed without its passengers, who were left at the airport without food or drink. BA claims that attempts were made to find hotel accommodation for the crew and passengers but there was none available.

The problem arose when the aircraft was delayed beyond its 10.30 pm take-off time on Wednesday evening due to a technical fault. The delay took the crew over their permitted working hours, but the pilots were still able to return the aircraft to Gatwick. According to the BBC, some passengers that had been left behind reported that staff had locked doors and locked up their luggage.

In a statement BA said, ‘We’re very sorry for the disruption faced by our customers and will work with them to provide compensation. We always do everything we can to avoid an overnight flight delay, but when this happens we offer hotel accommodation to those travelling with us. Unfortunately, due to the volume of visitors to Venice we could not secure any rooms for our customers or cabin crew. The aircraft due to operate the flight to Gatwick was delayed into Venice because of a technical fault earlier in the day.

‘Unfortunately this meant that the cabin crew responsible for the safety of our customers had exceeded their available working hours, and were unable to operate the flight back to London. The two pilots were still within their hours and returned the aircraft to London.’

A replacement aircraft collected the passengers from Venice yesterday morning and returned them to Gatwick. The airline will be compensating the passengers in due course.