More than 200 Airline British Unexpected passengers remained in the Caribbean after a weekend of disruption to BA flights.
The problems began early Saturday morning at Gatwick airport, after passengers on British Airways flight 2157 bound for Antigua and Grenada checked in.
They boarded a Boeing 777 that departed at 9:25 a.m. But, as one passenger said The Independent: “We spent seven hours on the ground at Gatwick in two different planes with no food and very little water.”
It was understood that the air-conditioning failure on the first plane could not be rectified and about five hours after the scheduled departure, passengers and baggage were transferred to the second aircraft.
Not long before the plane was scheduled to depart, a passenger fell ill and left the plane. By the time their luggage had been located, the crew had “timed out”. The flight could not depart until Sunday morning – meaning British Airways is running short of planes.
One passenger tweeted: “Shocking customer service on flight BA2157. 400 people were on our 2nd plane of the day with PCR tests coming to an end and a company as large as BA could not assemble a replacement crew today because the current pilot needed sleep. “
The governments of the Caribbean countries concerned have agreed to extend the validity of Covid tests carried out by passengers.
Saturday’s flight ended up being slightly behind schedule by 24 hours. All passengers in Grenada and Antigua due to return to Gatwick were checked into hotels overnight, and ended up arriving at Sussex Airport 25 hours later.
Meanwhile, the scheduled Sunday Gatwick-Antigua-St Kitts service was delayed by more than two hours. Additional delays are built in. The Antigua-St Kitts-Antigua rotation completed five hours later than planned, meaning the flight to Gatwick could not continue.
The final jet is expected to depart from the Caribbean island around noon local time (4pm GMT), arriving just before midnight at Gatwick – 17 hours late.
Below European Air Passenger Rights Rules, British Airways appears to be owed £550 in damages for each of the approximately 700 passengers estimated to be delayed by several hours.
In total, the delay could cost the carrier half a million pounds.
A British Airways spokesperson said: “We apologize for the inconvenience and are doing everything we can to support our customers.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/british-airways-antigua-flights-gatwick-b1975102.html Stuck in paradise: British Airways flights from Antigua in turmoil