University Professor left stranded in European city after flight chaos


A UNIVERSITY academic has blasted a budget airline after her and other passengers were left stranded in a European city.

Professor Susan Grayston, a Canadian academic, said that her father, who has Alzheimer’s, was left ‘lost and confused’ after she could not get home from a conference she was attending in Prague.

She was supposed to catch the 5.30pm flight on Friday from Prague to Manchester before making her way back to Kendal, where her father lives.

She said: “We had all passed through gate security and had our boarding passes scanned to board the flight.

“We were waiting for the next bus to take us to the plane on the tarmac but no bus came and an announcement was made that the gate had closed.”

Other passengers, who had colleagues successfully on the plane, relayed that the pilot did not want to miss his take-off slot so made the decision to depart.

The University of British Columbia Professor had been in the city to speak at the Ecology of Soil Microorganisms Conference.

She said: “We tried phoning Ryanair, no-one was available, no-one was available for Ryanair in the whole airport. We were told by the local police to leave the departure gates and reclaim our luggage which they had off-loaded from the plane.

“The plane, as it was, took off almost an hour late. We were left, 120 people, abandoned.”

She said that she was ‘lucky’ to be able to book herself on a flight the day after – but it arrived in Gatwick, which meant that she had to find her way back up north in the midst of a rail strike.

Luckily, her cousin, who lives in Lancaster, offered to drive her all the way from London to Kendal, where she arrived on Saturday night, 24 hours after she was scheduled.

She said: “Ryanair owner Micheal O’Leary recently tweeted that Boris Johnson is an idiot.

“Pot, kettle, black comes to mind.”

Ryanair were contacted but did not respond to a request to comment.





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