A couple finally arrived back home last night after a three-day wait for a flight out of storm-hit Corfu.

Les and Jane Andrews, of Salendine Nook, were stranded on Sunday when pilots refused to land on the Greek island.

But as the weather improved and flights came and went, Mr and Mrs Andrews and other passengers on their Ryanair flight were left with nowhere to go.

Some passengers paid for flights with other airlines but a group of around 45 stuck it out, demanding that Ryanair comply with its responsibility to them under European law.

The group were put up for three nights – in two different hotels – before Ryanair finally got them on a flight back to Manchester at 11.55am on Wednesday.

Les, 57, a business development manager, said the couple were exhausted after finally driving back home from Manchester.

 

“You could say it’s been an adventure,” said Mr Andrews. “But what had been a nice holiday turned into a nightmare.”

The couple booked the week-long break through a holiday company and didn’t know they were flying with budget airline Ryanair, run by entrepreneur Michael O’Leary.

“When we got to the airport we could see the weather closing in,” said Mr Andrews. “Apparently there are hills at either side of the airport and cloud sits in between. If pilots can’t see the end of the runway they won’t land.”

The pilots on their flight diverted elsewhere and Mr Andrews said: “We then got the dreaded message from Mr O’Leary that he had decided to cancel the flight and that we could have a refund or we could be booked on another flight.

“A lot of people abandoned ship and got tickets with other airlines but once you do that you cease to be your airline’s responsibility. There were 45 of us who decided to stick together.”

Mr Andrews, whose 52-year-old wife had a heart attack 15 months ago and ran out of medication on Monday, said Ryanair failed to keep them fully informed.

“We were going periods of nine or 10 hours with no water, no refreshments or no information,” he said.

“Every morning we left the hotel hoping that today would be the day we went home.”

On Wednesday, some of the more vulnerable passengers – including Mr and Mrs Andrews – were kept at Corfu airport while the others were taken to the Greek mainland. Mr Andrews believes the others eventually flew home via Italy.

Mr Andrews said one of the passengers had lost his job as a contract driver because of the delays while another faced formal disciplinary action.

Mr Andrews said his employer, a Leeds-based double glazing supply firm, had been understanding but he may still lose pay.

The couple are now working out how much the delays have cost them and will submit a claim against Ryanair.

A Ryanair spokesman said the company had attempted to position extra flights on Monday and Tuesday but all were unable to land due to the weather.

The company arranged for travel via alternative airports and the final customers were due to arrive home on Thursday.

The spokesman apologised to those affected.