Aer Lingus apologises to stranded passengers

Aer Lingus apologises to stranded passengers

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File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2016

Aer Lingus has apologised to passengers who were left behind in Boston at the weekend after their plane was forced to take off and fly to Shannon without them.

It’s understood the flight EI-134 did not have the legally required number of flight attendants to operate the service after one crew member fell ill prior to departure.

As a result, Aer Lingus had to cancel the flight however the aircraft did fly to Shannon without passengers allowing it to operate the return leg, EI-135, on schedule yesterday.

Passengers affected by the last minute cancellation were offered hotel accommodation while the airline made arrangements for them to travel to Shannon on other Aer Lingus services or with the carrier’s partner airlines.

An Aer Lingus spokeswoman said: “Aer Lingus flight EI-134 operating Boston-Shannon was cancelled Saturday 29 June, due to crew illness.Guests are being re-accommodated  on other Aer Lingus direct transatlantic services and via our partner airlines. Hotel accommodation was offered as required to affected guests.”

“We sincerely apologise to our guests for the inconvenience caused,” the spokeswoman added.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2016

Hundreds of Shannon Airport passengers have been affected by flight cancellations over the past number of years mainly because Aer Lingus had to move aircraft from Shannon to Dublin to fill gaps in the services there.

Flights from Shannon were cancelled on four occasions in March and again in June this year while in 2018, flights from Shannon to New York and Boston, and their return legs, were cancelled up to 20 times resulting in hundreds of passenger being inconvenienced.

The carrier has been strongly criticised in the past for prioritising the needs of Dublin passengers at the expense of its Shannon customers while Aer Lingus’ commitment to Shannon Airport has been repeatedly questioned.

Aer Lingus has always defended such decisions to cancel flights as well as its commitment to Shannon.

The airline has stated in the past: “On occasion, we are forced to cancel or reschedule our services and at these times, Aer Lingus does everything in its capacity to minimise disruption, impacting the least number of guests. Aer Lingus is wholly committed to Shannon Airport.”

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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