The already-delayed plane, bound for Madeira, had almost reached the island but was unable to land due to gales.
An EasyJet flight bound for the Portuguese island of Madeira was forced to return to England’s Manchester Airport (MAN) after it was unable to land at Madeira Airport (FNC). The incident, which occurred on Monday, involved EasyJet Flight 1957.
The plane’s departure from MAN had already been delayed by two hours due to no pilot being available to operate the flight. Once in the air and within 300 miles of its final destination, EZY1957 was not able to land because of high winds at FNC. Instead, the plane headed to Gran Canaria Airport (LPG).
It was here that the flight’s passengers were told that it would not be possible to continue onward to Madeira and that they would instead be flown back to MAN. Once back at Manchester, passengers would be loaded onto another Funchal-bound flight, departing a day later than planned.
Exhausted and disappointed, the passengers of EZY1957 arrived back in England in the early hours of Tuesday after 12 hours of travel.
According to eyewitness accounts, no EasyJet representative was present to meet the disembarking passengers at MAN and many were understandably upset with the treatment they had received at the hands of the carrier.
“It was so disgraceful to make people do that 12-hour journey in a plane at night. The planes are not geared up for passengers being on it for so long,” a passenger named only as Judy told the Manchester Evening News. “They are treating their passengers really poorly,” she added.
Another traveler, Tony Hollings, said, “It was just a complete shambles. It was dealt with badly, especially as misinformation was given to passengers.”
A spokesperson for the carrier confirmed that the flight had been canceled due to poor weather conditions in Funchal and said, “EasyJet communicated regularly with customers via its Flight Tracker page and on arrival at Manchester EasyJet provided hotel accommodation for those who required it […] Whilst this is outside of our control we would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused as a result of the weather conditions. The safety of its passengers and crew is EasyJet’s highest priority.”