THEY had come to the end of a once-in-a-lifetime Caribbean cruise.
Pensioners Jacqueline Whitney and Briony Siveright, from Mijas, were at the airport of tropical island Aruba, waiting for their flight to be called.
Yet their dream getaway turned into a nightmare when, before their eyes, their airplane took off without them – with their baggage still on board.
They were left stranded for a week without clothes or medication after Spanish airline Pullmantur took off without offloading their luggage.
“Neither of us had any medication, we both had to go to hospital to collect what we needed which was expensive. I need pills to thin my blood.”
“According to aviation law, it was a breach of security not to unload the baggage without us,” explained Jacqueline, 77.
“We didn’t hear any announcement over the tannoy and nobody told us anything.”
“To say we were in a state of panic is putting it mildly, it was very distressing.”
The pair had splashed out 1,400 euros on the all-inclusive cruise, but were forced to fork out some 2000 euros extra each, as they were marooned for a whole week.
“The next flight back was not scheduled for another week, it was a nightmare,” said Briony, 70, from Edinburgh.
Both women have health problems, Jacqueline has high blood pressure and kidney trouble, while Briony suffered a stroke some months before flying out.
Briony added: “Neither of us had any medication, we both had to go to hospital to collect what we needed which was expensive. I need pills to thin my blood.”
The pair had bought their trips through the travel department of El Corte Ingles in Fuengirola, but more than one year later, are still waiting for at least an apology.
“We have received nothing from El Corte Ingles, we have sent countless letters via recorded delivery,” said Jacqueline. “The store hasn’t even responded to my lawyer.
El Corte Ingles in Fuengirola declined to comment.