British couple spend four days returning home after Ryanair cancels flight

STRANDED: Samantha Breen and Alexander Rutherford were forced to take a four day detour to get home.

A BRITISH couple were stranded for three days and forced to take an extensive detour after their Ryanair flight was cancelled due to French air strikes.

Samantha Breen, aged 30, and her partner Alexander Rutherford, aged 43, were due to fly back to the UK on October 10 after a five-day holiday in Mallorca but didn’t make it home until October 14.

After a six hour wait at Palma de Mallorca Airport, the couple were told that their flight had been cancelled and the next available flight wasn’t until October 13, but they had to fly to Madrid and Lanzarote first to catch a flight back to the UK.

The airline put the couple up in a hotel for three days, where they were stranded without food and only €11 between them. Their family eventually had to send €100 to help them out.

On October 13, the couple, from Thornaby-on-Tees, flew to Madrid and then on to Lanzarote, where they arrived just before midnight. Ms Breen told UK media that they were forced to sleep on a wooden bench outside the airport as there was no one at the Ryanair desk to assist them when they arrived.

They had to wait at the airport for eight hours until their flight back to Newcastle the next day.

A Ryanair spokesperson claimed that the flight had been cancelled 16 hours before the scheduled departure and that customers were sent emails informing them of the cancellation and the option to get a full refund or free transfer onto the next available flight.

The couple have submitted a claim of €124 for expenses, but were told they are not entitled to compensation as the cancellation was the result of an air traffic control strike. 

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