RYANAIR is insisting that a flight cancelled at the last minute at Granada airport was due to fog.
This is despite airline representatives telling passengers at the airport that the plane was diverted to Malaga because of “high winds”.
And passengers on inbound flight 9604 Ryanair’s Liverpool to Granada service insisting that they were told that the plane was diverting due to mechanical reasons.
Whatever the case, when the plane eventually landed at Malaga airport, it was attended by fire engines and the passengers were not allowed to leave the plane for an hour.
A spokesman insisted that flight FR9604 was diverted to Malaga “due to fog at Granada”.
“The flight was cancelled as a result of this forced, weather-related diversion and passengers were offered a full refund or travel on the next available flight,” he said.
But the claim is still being contested by passengers.
“There was no wind or fog at Granada airport,” Chris Buck told the Olive Press. “Other planes were landing and taking off at the same time,” he added.
He and a number of other passengers are furious that after the cancellation the 140 passengers were “left to fend for themselves”.
They have accused the airline of lying in order to avoid having to foot the bill for a meal, accommodation and/or compensation for extra expenditure incurred by travellers.
According to European aviation rules, if a flight is cancelled, the airline has no responsibility to reimburse travellers for any expenses caused by that cancellation.
Although passengers were offered alternative flights from any Spanish airport to any British one, this was not always convenient.
The next flight from Granada to Liverpool, for example, was three days later.
Since that night the Olive Press has talked to AENA, the Spanish Airports Authority, CLEVER, Ryanair’s handling agents in Malaga, and the press offices at Malaga and Liverpool airports, in an attempt to get at the truth.
After constant requests – and sending a list of questions – we finally got a reply from Ryanair.
The spokesman added that generally passengers would be bussed to the other airport to catch the flight. “But that depends on a fleet of buses being available,” he said.
He also insisted that under EU rules the passengers were not entitled to compensation.
He insisted that having fire engines on the runway was not uncommon, and added that sometimes Ryanair staff agreed with passengers in order to placate them.
He also admitted that staff at Granada airport, while representing Ryanair, may have not got it right.