Holiday ruined as girls are left in lurch at airport

A WEARY traveller said her “horrendous” ordeal of trying to get back home from a holiday with her friends had soured the city break experience.

Jade Skelling (22) took a three-day break to Amsterdam with mates Lucy Parkin, Yasmine Hammond and Laney Avdurramani, having booked through online travel agency Love Holidays.

But the successful trip hit a hurdle when their Jet2 flight home to Leeds Bradford Airport was cancelled.

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They ended up having to find their own luggage and arrange their own hotel for the night and eventually flew home exactly 24 hours later.

“Everything went smoothly on the way there and it was a fantastic experience to go on a girls’ holiday with my friends,” said Jade.

“But when we got to Schiphol Airport for the flight home, it was horrendous.”

Jade said the group had checked in and passed security and had been waiting in departures on June 5 when a member of airport staff “placed a small A4 piece of paper on the boarding window saying our flight was cancelled” — just 20 minutes before the time the flight was due to take off.

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She added: “There was a customer service hotline number to ring — and that was that.

“There was no communication whatsoever from staff at the airport.”

Jade, of Wickersley, said with no holiday rep at the airport  the friends had been left to ring their travel company’s call centres — and were on hold for two hours.

“When we did get through, the operator didn’t seem interested at all,” Jade said.

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“They said our only option was to wait another four days (to June 9).

“There was no offer to put us up anywhere, so we had to find our own hotel.”

It was 8.30pm when the group decided to find their own hotel room, which cost 500 euros, and they found their luggage stacked in cages in the baggage reclaim area before heading to the airport.

Later in the evening, a Jet2 rep phoned Jade to tell her that a flight would be available at 4pm the following day — and promised to pay compensation and cover their hotel costs.

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Jade said: “It was great to receive the refund, as well as the offer to pay for added expenses such as the hotel, but the experience of trying to get back dampened our overall enjoyment of the holiday.”

A Jet2 spokesperson blamed “an incident affecting another carrier’s aircraft” for no flights being able operate in or out of Leeds Bradford Airport for part of Sunday, June 5.

“We communicated this as soon as possible to all affected customers, and although the issue was completely beyond our control, we would of course like to apologise to all affected customers,” they said.

A spokesperson for Love Holidays also apologised, adding: “This is an issue that the travel industry as a whole, as well as the UK government, are working to try and solve ahead of the summer period.”