'Traumatised' couple forced to sleep on airport conveyor belt after Ryanair delay
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A couple say they were 'forced' to sleep on an airport conveyor belt after their flight was delayed for more than 20 hours.
Sam Johns, 31, and partner Danielle Downing, 30, flew out from Bristol Airport to Lanzarote on 9 March, but when the time came for them to fly back on 12 March their flight was hit with lengthy delays due to bad weather, before eventually being cancelled.
The couple were stranded at the airport among hundreds of others who were set to board the same Ryanair flight.
Johns told ITV: “Initially the plane was set to take off at 6pm local time but was delayed consistently.
“At around midnight we were given back our luggage and promised accommodation and transfers, which never came.
“Hundreds of people were instead forced to sleep on the concrete floor or conveyor belts in the arrivals section.
“No water, blankets, nothing but a €4 (£3.50) voucher which was voided in certain places."
To make matters worse, Johns said they were sent on a ‘wild goose chase’ around the airport going to different departure gates before it was finally confirmed that the flight had been cancelled until the next day due to the weather.
Johns, from Devon, said he and his partner barely slept and saw young children forced to bed down on a concrete floor for the night, while elderly passengers slept in wheelchairs.
He added: “It was horrible. I have never experienced anything like it in my life. It was pretty traumatic. We are trying to get compensation but that is also proving to be an absolute nightmare due to third-party booking."
The couple eventually boarded at around 3pm the following day - 21 hours after their original flight had been due to take off.
In a statement, a Ryanair spokesperson told ITV: "A small number of flights to/ from Lanzarote (12 March) were delayed overnight due to heavy fog at Lanzarote Airport. Affected passengers were notified and subsequently updated via email, SMS and PUSH notification.
"Passengers were offered overnight accommodation, however, as there was limited hotel availability in Lanzarote, some passengers remained at the airport and any passengers who arranged their own accommodation were advised that they could claim reimbursement on Ryanair.com.
"To minimise disruption to passengers, Ryanair arranged for rescue flights for the following morning (March 13) when the fog cleared. We sincerely apologise to affected passengers for any inconvenience caused as a result of these weather-related delays, which were entirely beyond our control."