A Jet2 flight descended into chaos when the pilot ‘fainted’ in the cockpit, forcing the plane into an emergency landing.
One passenger said that the incident delayed the start of their holiday by eight hours and claimed they were offered just a voucher worth 15 Euros each in compensation, which was only enough to cover a ‘basic meal’.
A spokesperson for the airline told the Daily Star that the flight was grounded as a ‘precautionary measure’, adding that they’d worked especially hard to look after everyone, apologising for the delay passengers faced.
The incident happened immediately after the plane had emerged from some turbulence, according to another passenger.
They said: "While we were all [seated] we noticed something was going on at the front of the plane."
"We thought someone had hurt themselves in the toilet while experiencing turbulence.
"We were told we were landing in Greece due to a medical emergency on board...we weren’t told what part."
That passenger also said that staff did ‘all they could’ to help keep the travellers up to date on what was going on, but added that they did sit on the runway at Thessaloniki for an hour before the ambulance arrived to check the pilot.
In the end, another crew was flown out so that the plane could continue the journey to Turkey as quickly as possible.
Medical emergencies aren’t covered in Jet2’s compensation policy.
The passenger said that they and their fellow travellers were told by crew members that the pilot had ‘fainted’ but added: "People were worried as we’d just been through turbulence, and we didn’t know what was happening.
"[Passengers] then got frustrated as once we were off the plane no one was updating us.
"The crew were amazing but once in the airport it was chaos."
A Jet2 statement provided to Metro UK read: “Flight LS1239 from Birmingham to Antalya diverted to Thessaloniki Airport as a precautionary measure on Tuesday (August 23) due to one of the pilots feeling unwell."
"A replacement crew were flown to Thessaloniki so that we could get customers on their way to Antalya that same evening.
"We communicated this to our customers as soon as possible, and our teams worked extremely hard to look after everyone," it continues.
"We would like to apologise to anyone affected by this unforeseen delay.”