NATIONAL NEWS
‘Easyjet just abandoned us’

A MANCHESTER couple have told of their anger at easyJet after their flight from Ben Gurion airport to Manchester was delayed by 22 hours.

Miriam and Roy Becker claimed that they and fellow passengers were abandoned at the airport, in Tel Aviv, in the early hours of the morning.

The plane was due to take off at 9pm last Thursday.

However, with the passengers already on board, the captain announced that they would be delayed due to weather conditions over Europe.

And the delay continued until easyJet missed its slot.

“It got to midnight and we were told to get off the plane and pick up our luggage,” Roy told the Jewish Telegraph.

“We went back through passport control and we were told that somebody would help us with transport to a hotel. However, nobody was there from easyJet.”

The Beckers, together with fellow passenger Laura Valins, went to an information desk at terminal three.

There, an official took their names — as well as 20 others — and told them he would come back to them, but he never did.

Mr Becker, 77, recalled: “Miriam managed to speak to someone who said they would sort it out — by now it was around 1am.

“Again, this woman took our names, led us downstairs and said she would come back to us, but she disappeared, too.

“We were becoming more frustrated and annoyed.”

Meanwhile, Mr Becker was told by easyJet ground staff not to book their own accommodation as they would not be reimbursed because it had to be booked through the airline’s partners.

“By this time it was 1.37am and we were unable to find a hotel due to the high demand,” he said.

“easyJet told us that if we did make our own arrangements they would cover the cost of a ‘reasonably-priced room’.”

Luckily, Mr and Mrs Becker’s son, Yaakov, lives in Modi’in Ilit, so they stayed with him.

Laura Valins, also of Manchester, told the JT that she had to stay with her niece in Tel Aviv, but did not arrive there until 2.30am.

“Roy had to lend me some shekels for the taxi because I had no money left,” the 74-year-old said.

“I am very angry about it because it felt like we had been abandoned in an airport in the middle of the night.”

Mrs Valins added that it was even more traumatic for her, as her husband, Clifford, died in March.

She added: “Being recently widowed, I was glad that Miriam and Roy looked after me.”

Hours later, passengers received an email telling them that the flight would leave at 5.30pm on the Friday — but when it eventually left after another 90-minute delay it was half empty due to Shabbat.

“It wasn’t so much the delay happening, it was the fact that easyJet did nothing to help in any way,” said Roy.

“Nobody was allocated to help us and I know of some passengers who had to sleep in the airport. It was very frustrating.”

They have put in a claim to the airline, but have not received a response.

Mrs Valins added that the incident has made her think twice about travelling to Israel with easyJet.

“The whole thing was nothing short of disgusting — they just didn’t give a damn,” she said. “It was horrible.”

An easyJet spokesman told the Jewish Telegraph last night: “We are very sorry that Mr and Mrs Becker’s and Ms Valin’s flight from Tel Aviv to Manchester was unfortunately delayed overnight due to adverse weather conditions which caused the crew to exceed their legally permitted hours.

“While this was outside our control we did all possible to minimise the impact of this and provided passengers with information on how to secure hotel accommodation.

“We will reimburse passengers should they have secured their own accommodation and any other expenses they incurred.

“Our team will be in contact with them to apologise for their experience. Once again we are very sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

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