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Holiday-maker tells of air strike frustration

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 30, 2014

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A HOLIDAY-MAKER from East Staffordshire has spoken of her frustration at being caught up in the strike action undertaken by air traffic controllers in France.

Many flights in and out of East Midlands airport were either delayed or cancelled following the period of industrial action, which was originally expected to last until yesterday. However a decision was made on Thursday that saw air traffic controllers return to work, but not after many flights throughout Europe had been affected. In addition to flights both in and out of France, any routes flying through French air space also faced disruption.

Ellice Parkinson, who lives in Burton, returned from Portugal with her husband Steve on June 25. The 23-year-old told the Mail that she was unaware that the couple’s Ryanair flight would be affected until they boarded the plane and were ready to take off.

She explained: “We were sat on the runway and the pilot made an announcement on the PA system, saying that our flight would now be delayed because of the strikes taking place in France.

“He told us that we would have to wait two and a half hours before we could take off. We weren’t allowed to get off the plane and instead had to just sit there.

“Of course things such as food and drink weren’t included in the flight cost, so we had to buy those too, they didn’t give us anything to make up for being delayed.

“When we got back to East Midlands airport we had to circle for quite a while too because there was debris on the runway. It was a nightmare journey.”

Under EU law, passengers booked on flights which have been affected by strike action are entitled to complimentary food and drink while on board, but not financial compensation.

Airlines are also obliged to provide overnight accommodation and transport between the hotel and airport if it is required, plus two free phone calls, faxes or emails.

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