Ryanair flight delayed by 14 hours after Spanish air traffic control strike

Flight from Barcelona to Stansted grounded due to industrial action

Updated: 
Ryanair flight delayed by 14 hours Spanish air traffic control strike

The first Spanish air traffic control strike in 26 years has caused travel chaos in Spain and London this week.

Passengers expecting to fly with Ryanair from Barcelona's Girona airport to Stansted in London faced a delay of 14 hours.

Those on board yesterday's flight FR9803 were supposed to leave on the 9.30am flight but didn't actually make it out of Barcelona until 11.30pm last night, the Mirror reported.

Holidaymakers spent the time stuck in the airport along with more than 100 other passengers hoping to travel to the UK.

One woman's fiancee was hoping to travel and she told The Mirror: "They were told it was a five-hour delay and then they put it back further to 7.15pm, and then 9.25pm and now 11.30pm.

"There are no Ryanair staff around to ask for information and they aren't doing announcements over the tannoy.

"They have only been given five euros each to get food and drink which for more than 12 hours isn't going to get far with airport prices.

She added: "There are families and young children.

"Everyone is frustrated, he said people are floating between anger and feeling exhausted."

But it wasn't just those in Spain left frustrated, passengers in London's Stansted airport were also left waiting for hours on end.

The strikes began yesterday (Monday) from 10am to midday and then again later in the day from 6pm to 8pm.

On the popular holiday island of Fuerteventura, more than 1000 beds have been reserves in anticipation of flight cancellations and 14 of the island's hotels have agreed to participate.

Despite the strikes, Ryanair maintained that the extreme delays were thanks to a technical issue.

A spokesperson told the Mirror: ""This flight from Girona to London Stansted was delayed ahead of take-off due to a minor technical issue.

"Customers were provided with four sets of refreshment vouchers and to minimise delay, Ryanair positioned a replacement aircraft from London Stansted, which operated this flight to London.

"Ryanair engineers will repair this minor fault and return the aircraft to service shortly. Ryanair sincerely apologised to all those affected by this rare delay."

EasyJet has warned its customers due to fly to or from Spain to monitor its website and be prepared for delays, although it is hoping to avoid cancellations.

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