I waited in a busy London airport for 5 hours before learning that my flight was canceled. The airline only refunded me $58 and national train strikes left me stranded.
- My Ryanair
flightto Italy was canceled after I waited five hours in a London airport.
- I spent almost $90 on my outbound ticket but the
airlineonly refunded me $58.
The passports were out, the luggage was packed, and the flip-flops were on. My vacation to Italy had finally arrived and I couldn't be more excited to get away from England's grey skies and road-trip around the region of Tuscany for two weeks.
In May, I booked two Ryanair flights from London's Stansted Airport to Milan Malpensa, Italy, for £300 ($358) return, including two pieces of luggage. The tickets were more expensive than expected due to this summer's surge in
Knowing we could be caught up in this year's travel
Check-in, baggage drop-off, and security checks were done within 30 minutes. As a reporter covering this year's travel disruption, I thought it was too good to be true. Even the flight information board said the
We mooched around the airport, grabbing coffees, magazines, and last-minute toiletries we'd forgotten. We were relaxed — until we glanced at the information board. The Ryanair flight had been delayed by an hour and a half.
"It could be worse," I said.
More than an hour later, the flight was pushed back again by two and a half hours. With that, we went to the pub.
After almost two hours and another 10-minute delay to the flight time, the Ryanair app notified me that the flight to Milan was canceled. The flight status disappeared from the information board, leaving me baffled as to what to do next.
An email from Ryanair said the flight was canceled because of "airport and [Air Traffic Control] slot delays."
An airport staff member directed us to security, where a long line of passengers on the Milan flight formed in front of the desk.
The security staff then apologetically opened a door leading us to baggage collection, where we waited an hour for the suitcases to come through. I felt cross and disheartened while sitting among sunkissed holidaymakers gleefully collecting their luggage after landing in the UK.
There was only one Ryanair staff member available in the baggage collection area, but she directed passengers to a sign she wrote, which said that those on the Milan flight should wait for their luggage at carousel nine.
Once the suitcases were delivered, we went to the airport's train station to return to central London. However, one of the country's biggest railway strikes was taking place on the day, leaving us stranded. London-bound buses were fully booked too.
Out of sheer luck — which we didn't have much of — my flatmate offered us a lift as he was driving to the airport to collect his partner. We managed to squish four people and three large suitcases into his Mini and travel back home.
After booking flights to Milan for the next day, I requested a refund on Ryanair's website for the two cancelled outbound flights, which cost around £73 ($87) each. Ryanair said in an email I got £99.16 ($117) back —that's £49.50 ($58) for each flight.
Ryanair didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment about the situation.
Unfortunately, I became entangled in the chaos that the aviation industry is experiencing at the moment. Passengers worldwide have had vacations ruined as airlines and
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