A FAMILY who may not be able to get to Tenerife for their long-awaited Christmas holiday say the way passengers have been treated is disgusting.
Family holidays are hanging in the balance after drone sightings have currently suspended all flights in and out of Gatwick Airport.
Flights were suspended last night with the runway reopened at 3.45am – but shut again 15 minutes later.
A Portchester man stuck in the airport’s North Terminal has described the departures lounge as chaos and said there are ‘massive queues of people everywhere’ whose flights are delayed or cancelled.
The Wetherspoons restaurant has a queue of two hours plus for those wanting a table.
Jennifer Flemming, 34, from Gosport, said her children are devastated they might not be able to spend Christmas in Tenerife as planned. She said she understands safety concerns but that the way they have been treated is ‘disgusting’.
She said: ‘We all got checked in at about 3.15am, our flight was meant to be at 6am, then we were given our bags back and told if we had any problems to phone a number – which you can’t even get through to.
‘I only have euros on me which I tried to change back into pounds to go home, but they tried to charge me £200 to do that which I can’t afford!
‘I understand safety but the way we have been treated is disgusting.
‘I will do whatever I can to get to Tenerife, I promised my kids this trip. It’s my boy’s Christmas present.’
Jennifer queued to see if she could get another flight. In the end she arranged to go to Oslo Airport in Norway, stay overnight in a hotel, get another flight to Gran Canaria then get on a boat to Tenerife, and catch a bus to the hotel at her own expense.
Lloyd Wheelhouse, 43, from Portchester, is hoping to fly to Gran Canaria today for a Christmas holiday with his family.
Their flight was at 7.20am but Lloyd is hopeful they will travel as the family have checked in and their bags been taken. Their flight has constantly been rescheduled throughout the day to 10am, 11am, 1pm and now, 4pm.
He said: ‘We’re stuck in the North Terminal but we have gone past security.
‘The departures area is chaos. Massive queues of people round the entire area from cancelled flights.
‘People have been queuing to get a table in the Red Lion Wetherspoons for more than two hours and two restaurants are closed for refits. Resources are being stretched.
‘There’s people sitting on the stairs and the floors.
‘The airport is offering light refreshment vouchers to people whose flights are delayed for more than three hours.
‘We didn’t know about the issues until we arrived and called airport parking to notify them we’d got here and we were read out a statement.
‘There are planes on the ground already and it seems passengers for those planes are being checked in.’
The drone sightings are being investigated by the airport and Sussex Police.