A mother of an autistic child says her family was forced to wait two hours after boarding an easyJet flight yesterday – only to be told their flight had been cancelled.

Nicola Caine, with her husband, son and daughter, were booked on easyJet flight U21903 on Monday, scheduled to depart Manchester for Tenerife at 5:10pm.

She told The Independent: “We received information from the easyJet app in the morning that the flight was delayed until 6:10pm.

“We arrived at the airport at 2pm but had no problems with procedures or security.”

Shortly after 6 p.m., Ms. Caine said the family was told to exit the gate and board the plane. Once on board, however, the waiting game begins.

“We were informed by the captain that the flight was delayed due to problems with German airspace and also a baggage problem, so we will be delayed for another 10 minutes,” she said.

“Half an hour later, we were still waiting and were told that there was too much baggage to be checked.

“Almost an hour and a half later, we were informed by the captain that due to delays by the staff outside of their working hours, the flight has now been cancelled,” she added.

Ms. Caine said passengers were then kept on the plane for 40 minutes, with waiting times on the plane up to more than two hours.

She claims they have been asked to reschedule their flights on the easyJet app, but have struggled to do so because the app keeps crashing.

“My 12-year-old son has autism and the initial wait on the plane was tough enough for him but hearing the flight was canceled caused a huge crisis,” she said.

“He cried and kept asking when he was going to Tenerife. The crew on board were great with him and let him into the cockpit to try to calm him down, but – after 12 months of us preparing him for the holiday – he was absolutely heartbroken. before the last minute change. ”

After being on the plane for 40 minutes after the cancellation was announced, the family was told to return to border control.

Ms Caine said: “When we got off the plane, we were told there would be an easyJet representative on the fifth floor, but no representative at the airport.

“We were stuck in the terminal with just two Manchester Airport staff, who handed out leaflets on how to download the easyJet app and were once again asked to go through the app.”

“We waited two years for this holiday, so to be treated this way after our flight was canceled was disgusting,” she added.

“No accommodation provided, no information on flight rebooking, terminal chaos no one knows what to do.”

The family returned home “with two distraught children” on Monday night, and just before 6am on Tuesday, easyJet emailed them saying they had rebooked an alternative flight for that evening – from Airport fly to Gatwick, 240 km away.

The airline asked passengers to return to Manchester Airport at 10:30am, where it will begin coach service to Gatwick.

Ms Caine said: “I contacted easyjet to explain the difficult situation we were facing, traveling on a four-hour bus ride, waiting at the airport, then a four-hour flight. and a half with her autistic son.

“I have been informed that there are no other flights from Manchester to Tenerife for a week. EasyJet said we could book our own flight with another airline but would have to claim our money back from travel insurance as they provided a suitable alternative. ”

She argued that the alternative was inappropriate because it involved an additional journey time of four and a half hours more than the original flight booked.

In addition, the family also had to pay for a second PCR test for their son Oliver, 12, because the test period would expire by the time they arrived in Tenerife, part of Spain’s Canary Islands.

Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated visitors 12 years of age or older must have a negative PCR test result within the last 72 hours or an antigen test result in the last 24 hours to be admitted to Spain. Dental.

Ms Caine, who coached from Manchester to Gatwick, said the problem was worse for more than half an hour, with passengers standing out in the rain. EasyJet representatives also did not meet them.

“The stress this whole situation has put on our whole family is completely unnecessary,” she said.

“EasyJet did not try to help any customers other than emailing about new flights. I am absolutely disgusted with the way they have handled the whole situation and now fear what will happen at Gatwick as we have been told our flight is delayed by over an hour.”

The Independent approached easyJet for comment.

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