Holiday from hell as cancelled flight puts Doncaster woman's wedding in jeopardy

Gwen, Samantha and Peter.
Gwen, Samantha and Peter.

A furious holidaymaker has told how a cancelled flight left her stranded thousands of miles away from home - and put her wedding plans in jeopardy.

Gwen Graham had jetted off to southern Spain for a few days in the sun with her daughter Samantha before she was due to get married to partner Peter Brown.

Michael O'Leary.  Picture: PA

Michael O'Leary. Picture: PA

The mother and daughter were enjoying soaking up the sun on the beach one afternoon but the idyllic scene was about to turn sour.

For they received a text from Ryanair to say their flight home had been cancelled - with no explanation why.

After several hours holed up in their hotel room frantically trying to find a way home, they managed to book a replacement flight back to the UK via Holland - a 12 hour trip.

And Ms Graham told how she had to dip into money that she and partner Peter had saved up to pay for their wedding venue - and they are now having to ask friends to borrow them the money so their big day can still go ahead.

The Doncaster woman described Ryanair's treatment of passengers as "appalling" as the troubled airline faces up to floods of complaints after cancelling thousands of flights at short notice this autumn.

Ms Graham, aged 57, of Thorne, said: "I thought my daughter was joking when she received the text at first, I couldn't believe it.

"The holiday was over at that point. We were sat in our darkened hotel room on our phones trying to sort out a way home while the sun shone outside.

"If they knew beforehand that they couldn't bring us home why put us on a plane out there in the first place?"

The mother and daughter had flown out to Malaga from Leeds Bradford Airport on Saturday looking forward to a nice four day trip.

But that all changed when they got the dreaded text on Monday afternoon to say their flight had been cancelled the following day.

They spent hours on the phone and website trying to get through to Ryanair staff but to no avail.

Ms Graham said: "There was no explanation why it was cancelled and we were not offered a replacement or compensation. We had to sort it all out ourselves, and the phones were jammed."

In the end they booked a KLM flight to Manchester via Amsterdam which took them about 12 hours to get back yesterday.

And they had to fork out £700 from their own pockets to pay for it.

Ms Graham added: "Peter and I had set aside the remaining £1000 to pay for our wedding venue that was due on Friday, but we had to take the £700 out of that to get home.

"We have had to ask friends to borrow us the money so we can still go ahead with it. Thankfully people have kindly helped us out but it's embarrassing."

They are now seeking a full refund from Ryanair.

The budget airline cancelled more than 200 flights from Spanish resorts due to a strike by French air traffic controllers.

This comes just weeks after the firm cancelled flights for around 700, 000 passengers due to errors in how pilots were rostered to work.

A statement issued by the airline said: "Ryanair deeply regrets any inconvenience caused by these unwarranted delays/cancellations caused by air traffic controllers."

Chief executive Michael O’Leary also promised “significant changes to, and investment in, our rostering and pilot career development” over the next six months."