Manchester Airport: 13,000 passengers delayed by fuel problems

Shaun Waring and Sheree Hogg Image copyright Sheree Hogg
Image caption The chaos meant there would be no Roman holiday for Sheree Hogg and her partner Shaun Waring

About 13,000 people have been affected by delays at Manchester Airport caused by problems with fuel supplies.

Flights to Tenerife, Belfast and Milan were among 87 cancelled on Sunday, while others were delayed by hours.

The airport has apologised, saying the issues were resolved by 03:00 BST and flights are operating as planned apart from four cancelled Flybe flights.

Sheree Hogg, from Preston, said she was "gutted" to miss out on a trip to Rome for her 30th birthday.

The surprise holiday was a present from her fiancé Shaun Waring, who had been planning the trip for months.

Ms Hogg said she and her fellow passengers on the 17:45 Ryanair flight on Sunday were "left stranded... we were just shuffled out and we didn't know where to go".

"It was absolute carnage."

Image copyright Sheree Hogg
Image caption Manchester Airport says "most flights" are now operating as normal

She added: "We queued for five hours to try and get an alternative flight... only to be told there was nothing until Wednesday.

"It was almost 2am at this point and we had no car and no train - we even had to organise our own taxi home which cost £80."

The couple have now booked a few days in Whitby.

"It's not Rome but we're going to make the most of it."

'Never again'

One unnamed passenger, who had to stay at a hotel overnight after his flight was cancelled, told the BBC: "Our flight to Geneva was cancelled and what happened then was complete and utter chaos.

"The lack of customer service was unbelievably poor. There were about 400 people having to rebook flights and the queue which started at about 18:30 was still 100 people deep at 23:30 last night.

"We now have to get to Manchester Piccadilly to get a train to Euston, a Tube to London City Airport and a flight from London tonight to Geneva because there were no other flights available.

"I'll never come to Manchester Airport again. I will find another airport."

He described the situation as "the pits".

'Operating as normal'

Alessandro Biraglia, a lecturer at University of Leeds Business School, was also caught up in the delays and said the way BA handled it was "embarrassing".

He was due to depart Manchester via London Heathrow at 20:05 on Sunday for a conference in Argentina.

After a three-hour delay he was told a hotel and taxi had been booked for him in Manchester city centre by a third party company which deals with stranded passengers.

However, the taxi had not been paid for and there was no record of the hotel booking, so he had to pay the cost of more than £100 out of his own pocket.

Mr Biraglia said it was not how he taught business students to handle a crisis.

"As a silver lining I am planning to write a case to use in my services marketing class on the event and what could be done better. I will be happy to send it to British Airways free of charge."

Of the flights cancelled on Sunday, 42 were arrivals and 45 were departures.

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A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: "We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We expect most flights to operate as normal today [Monday] and throughout the week but please check with your airline to confirm."

The spokesperson added they were not aware of any previous power issues at the airport, but hundreds of passengers were stranded at Stansted when lightning strikes damaged the aircraft fuelling systems last year.

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