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Virgin Atlantic passengers stranded for 30 hours and counting after flight diverts to Barcelona

Virgin Atlantic passengers stranded for 30 hours and counting after flight diverts to Barcelona

A Virgin Atlantic flight from Johannesburg to London Heathrow that was forced to divert to Barcelona has left more than 300 passengers stranded for 29 hours and counting.

Flight VS450 landed at the Spanish airport due to a technical issue with the engine in the early hours of Wednesday 8 March.

After a wait of 18 hours, a “rescue plane” was deployed to transport the travellers to their final destination – but this, too, experienced a technical issue and was unable to depart.

According to Paul Smit, a passenger onboard the flight, more than 300 passengers landed in Barcelona at 4am on Wednesday morning, receiving no information from Virgin Atlantic “for hours”.

Calls to Virgin Atlantic were allegedly “useless”, with customers instructed to await further communication from the airline.

After 15 hours, passengers were still awaiting an update on a possible departure time. “They said they were sending a rescue flight at 8pm, now revised to 9.45pm,” the 66-year-old retailer from Leicester told The Independent .

A FlightRadar24 screengrab of the diversion


“It took them eight hours for first communication and to issue a €24 food voucher.” He added that Spanish customs would not let passengers out of the transit terminal.

After finally boarding the replacement plane at 1am on Thursday 9 March and waiting onboard for 90 minutes, passengers were told this aircraft had a technical fault too and were forced to disembark and return to the terminal once more.

Mr Smit said travellers were “assured that Virgin Atlantic ground crew would stay with us and ensure we were looked after and put into hotels”.

After travelling through passport control, however, Mr Smith claims they did not seen Virgin Atlantic cabin crew again.

“After two hours wandering around an empty airport asking local staff if they could help, we eventually found a desk which gave us a bus and hotel voucher,” he continued.

“We were sent to a car park to wait for a bus which arrived at 4am and wasn’t big enough for all the passengers, so a group of us were left behind. We took a taxi to the very basic hotel 40km from the airport. We arrived at 5am. The hotel said a bus would pick us up at 12.30pm today. We have since had a text to say the flight is now rescheduled to 16.50 to allow crew recovery. Still no sign of the Virgin Atlantic…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…