Beware the winds of Funchal – holidaymakers spend 15-hours not landing
A couple from Wales, travelling to Funchal for a holiday break, spend 15 hours not arriving in Madeira, ending up back where they started – Bristol airport – which, although pleasant enough, does not compare favourably with the flower-decked slopes of the scented Portuguese island.
Paul and Ana Davies, 71 and 60, were heading Madeira on Monday to enjoy a week’s holiday. They left their home in Wales at 4.30am and caught the three hour easyJet flight which left on time at 07.30am.
Mr Davies said, “When we approached the island, the captain said that due to strong winds there may be a problem landing. We circled for a while and then he said it was not possible to land so he said we would head back to Lisbon, which is an hour-and-a-half away, and rethink from there.
“After an hour-and-a-half they said the weather conditions had improved in Madeira so we’re going back.
“After another hour-and-a-half, we got back to Madeira and we were circling again and again and then the captain came on and said things had deteriorated again and there are eight aircrafts who were ahead of us and unable to land.”
The flight was unable to land due to strong winds so it headed back to Bristol, but not until landing in Porto where 39 exasperated passengers got off to have some sort of a holiday, just not in the place they had imagined.
“When we got to Porto, they told us they would have to get all the luggage off the plane and back on again which would take two hours.
“They gave us a food voucher to go into the airport and once the 39 had disappeared, the rest of us set off back for home. We arrived in Bristol at 8pm and got back home around 10pm.
“We had been travelling for around 15 hours and got absolutely nowhere. We did a little more than 4,000 miles and didn’t even get to our holiday. It was an incredible experience. In 4,000 miles you can get to the west coast of America. They did all they could and we have been told we should get a full reimbursement for the flight and accommodation.”
An easyJet spokesperson said: “easyJet would like to apologise to Mr and Mrs Davies for their experience due to the weather conditions preventing us to land in Funchal on 23 April.
“The flight was unfortunately unable to land in Funchal as the winds were outside of aircraft limits. As a result the captain diverted to Porto after weather conditions in Funchal continued to worsen and passengers were offered the opportunity to disembark there or to return to Bristol. 39 passengers chose to stay in Porto with the remainder, including Mr and Mrs Davies, returning to Bristol.
“The safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority.”
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