Virgin passengers vent fury on Facebook over 12-hour delay

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Virgin Atlantic flight delay causes passengers to rant on Facebook
Virgin Atlantic flight delay causes passengers to rant on Facebook

Passengers who suffered a lengthy delay on a Virgin Atlantic flight from London Gatwick to Orlando this week have taken to Facebook to vent their anger.

Passengers say that when flight VS15 was diverted, causing a delay of 12 hours, all they were given was just "some water and a few packets of crisps".

One passenger claimed she was unable to give her child milk despite asking for eight hours, reports Travelmole.

In a statement, Virgin confirmed that Wednesday's flight VS15 had been diverted to West Palm Beach due to severe weather in the Orlando area.

"Unfortunately, after a holding delay and refuelling the aircraft, the crew onboard were over their legal working hours and therefore all passengers and crew remained in West Palm Beach while a relief crew was issued from Orlando to take the aircraft to its final destination," it said.

It apologised to passengers for the "exceptional circumstances" and said "as a gesture of goodwill" it was offering passengers a $100 gift voucher and flying club miles.

But passengers claimed it was not fair to blame the delays on bad weather.

They said delays at Gatwick, when crew were swapped, and a lack of fuel meant the flight was forced to land at West Palm Beach Airport instead of a larger airport, which would have been better equipped to deal with the arrival of the 747.

Writing on Facebook, Leslie McArdle said: "We genuinely feel like we have been held hostage by US Customs/Virgin and completely abandoned by the airline. We have been at this airport 8 hours now. I can't stop crying. Feel so hopeless."

In an exchange with Virgin customer services on the airline's Facebook page, passenger Chris Jarvis said: "Miami must only have been about 50 miles away - was our fuel really that low? Only food/drink we were offered in over 12 hrs was packets of crisps and water. We were not offered accommodation while ground staff bumbled through the crisis just herded around West Palm Beach and then dumped in a departure gate that didn't have enough seats for everyone so some people had to sit on the floor."

Virgin immediately posted an apology and admitted "the situation has been far from ideal".

"There are many factors that have to be taken into account when an airport is closed due to the weather and ideally we would of course divert into an airport where we have a base of operations, however this isn't always possible," said Greg from customer services.

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