Woman and baby left without food and water for hour hours after Ryanair flight diverted
PUBLISHED: 19:32 09 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:14 17 January 2019
A woman from Colchester who was travelling to Greece with her eight-month old baby was left in without food or water for four hours after Ryanair diverted their flight to Romania due to ‘extreme’ weather.
Foggy conditions in Thessaloniki meant the plane from Stansted Airport was diverted to Timisoara in Romania on Friday, January 4.
Ryanair offered to take the passengers to their destination by bus the next morning, a journey of 480 miles - but 89 people refused to take the buses which reportedly had no heating or toilets.
Passengers also said they had no access to food or water for several hours while they waited in the airport.
Ryanair has been contacted for comment.
Maria Torounidou, 34, who was travelling with her baby to visit her parents for a two-week holiday, said: “We left Stansted at 4pm and I knew the weather was bad in Thessaloniki and I kept asking staff if the flight would go ahead.
“Then just before we were due to land in Greece we were told we were being diverted.
“About half an hour after we landed in Timisoara and collected our luggage, not knowing what was going to happen, we saw that the plane had taken off and left for London - they had just dumped us there.
“The most shocking part is that was a plane full of water and food and the airport we were in had no coffee shops or facilities or bottled water.
“I couldn’t get any hot water for my eight-month-old baby for four hours, there were no baby changing facilities and there was no heating in the airport so I ended up wrapping her in everything I had.
“The only people at the airport were three police officers and one member of staff – the police officers were sharing their bottled water with us.”
The plane landed in Romania around 10pm and at 2am, Ryanair told passengers they would be providing buses early the next morning.
“It turns out the buses only had one driver to do the journey, the buses had no toilets and no heating,” Mrs Torounidou said.
“It is the middle of winter and I couldn’t risk taking my baby on a bus in those conditions. People just got on the buses because they were really scared that they would have no other way. I was really panicking.
“Ryanair gave us nothing and basically told us to get on the bus or make our own way there. I found them so rude when we tried to ask for help. We had two babies on the flight and two people in wheelchairs.”
Eventually, Mrs Torounidou said she paid an extra £600 to get to Thessaloniki by flying to Munich and then to Greece, arriving almost 24 hours after she left the UK. She spent £260 for the original flight and she said she’s not sure if she will receive any compensation.
She said: “The question is, why didn’t we land in Athens or anywhere in Greece, or even Bulgaria? We know flights were landing there. And when we finally got to Thessaloniki on Saturday, we saw Ryanair flights landing. That was a slap in the face.
“I accept that they had to divert, that’s not a problem – you can’t control the bad weather, but the way they did everything was just so shocking in my view. And I think the fact they took an empty aircraft full of food and water back to London and left us there without anything is appalling. I will never, ever fly Ryanair again.”
The Greek government stepped in on Saturday afternoon and arranged with Aegean Airlines to send a plane to Timisoara and bring the remaining passengers to Thessaloniki.
Ryanair apologised for the delay, saying the diversion was “entirely beyond our control”.