Furious passengers are stuck in Spain for 30 hours after TWO Virgin Atlantic planes suffer technical problems on their way back to London
- Flight Johannesburg-London made an emergency landing in Barcelona yesterday
- Replacement aircraft to pick up passengers also broke down when it arrived
Angry passengers killed Virgin Atlantic after being stranded in Spain for over 30 hours when TWO of their plans had technical errors.
A flight from Johannesburg to London was forced to make an emergency landing in Barcelona on Wednesday when one of the 787 Dreamliner’s engines failed.
Passengers were told a replacement aircraft would be sent to collect them, but when it arrived it too broke down.
Passengers who had been waiting for more than 18 hours were then trapped in the plane for another two hours while the crew tried to clear the malfunction.
When that failed, they were taken back to the terminal at Barcelona Airport and told they would be put up in a hotel for the night.
A flight from Johannesburg to London was forced to make an emergency landing in Barcelona on Wednesday when one of the 787 Dreamliner’s engines failed
The flight was due to depart at 3pm UK time meaning they would have been delayed for 36 hours by the time they arrived at Heathrow Airport. 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 have a problem was just ridiculous. There were many angry people.
Another passenger Paul Smit, 66, said he had not received any information from Virgin Atlantic.
He said they were assured that the replacement flight crew would stay with them when they departed the replacement flight.
But the Leicester retailer said exhausted passengers were abandoned and made to wander through the terminal until a member of local airport staff gave them a voucher for a hotel
The Virgin flight VS450 departed Johannesburg on time, but suffered engine problems 10 hours into the flight.
The captain requested to divert to Barcelona, where it landed at 5am on Wednesday.
Passengers were informed that a replacement flight would arrive from London Heathrow at 8pm that evening.
But after waiting 18 hours and settling on the new jet, they were told by the captain that it was also having technical problems.
One passenger said that the captain had announced that they had a problem with their communication equipment and that they were waiting for spare parts to be delivered.
He said: ‘The treatment we’ve received is just shocking. There was no customer service whatsoever.
Everyone just wanted to go back to London. The crew was inundated with questions, but they had no answers.’
Passengers were trapped for more than 30 hours and have since vented their anger online (stock image)
Tired of waiting, some 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 booked their own flights back to Heathrow.
Matt Casey wrote, “I called, emailed, texted. Nothing works. Someone from your company has to take responsibility.’
Craig Mach wrote: It’s almost midnight and we can’t get to London. I’m numb’.
A spokesman for Virgin Atlantic apologized for the delay and said passengers would leave Barcelona this afternoon.
The spokesperson said: ‘As a precaution, the VS450 from Johannesburg to London has been diverted to Barcelona due to a technical problem. The safety and security of our customers remains our top priority and has not been compromised at any time.
“Unfortunately our recovery flight to London has been delayed and will now depart Barcelona later today,
‘The majority of our customers have received an overnight stay prior to their onward flight. We would like to sincerely apologize for the delay and inconvenience caused.’