Gatwick-bound passengers end up in Doncaster (after being told flight was diverting to Luton)

By Lisa James
20/04/2022
Home » Gatwick-bound passengers end up in Doncaster (after being told flight was diverting to Luton)

Wizz Air has apologised after passengers on a flight that was supposed to land at Gatwick ended up being dumped at Doncaster Sheffield Airport in the early hours.

Flight W95752 to Gatwick had been due to depart Tel Aviv at 9.20pm on Easter Sunday but was delayed for three hours, with passengers being told they were being diverted to Luton.

Then, 30 minutes before landing, passengers were informed they would actually be arriving 200 miles away from their intended destination, at Doncaster Sheffield.

Despite being assured coaches were on standby to take them back down south, no transport had been laid on, leaving the passengers having to find their own way home, with some clocking up a door-to-door journey of 15 hours.

Passenger Adar Cohen told The Independent: “They suddenly said there’s no parking spots in Luton or Gatwick so we’re going to land in Doncaster Sheffield.

“They said they had arranged a coach to take us from there to Gatwick.

“We went through passport control and there were just a few Wizz Air people about. Everyone was wondering ‘Where are these coaches?’

“They then said we couldn’t get coaches, there was no availability. They advised us to get a taxi and keep the receipt. Then they disappeared! I don’t even know how they got out of there,” said Mr Cohen.

Another passenger, Tal Dekel-Daks, told the newspaper: “There were already children and babies having a tough time with the descent – a lot of people onboard were Israeli and don’t know Doncaster. They were asking us if it’s in London.”

Passengers said Doncaster Sheffield Airport staff and local taxi drivers went out of their way to help, directing people to the local train station and calling taxis.

One man tweeted he’d paid £480 for a four-hour taxi back home in the early hours of Monday morning, while Mr Cohen and family arrived home at 8.30am after paying £260 for a taxi to south-east London.

A Wizz Air spokesperson said: “Wizz Air sincerely apologises for the inconvenience and disruption that was caused by the rerouting of its flight W9 5752 from Tel Aviv to London Gatwick on Easter Monday 18 April.

“Due to Air Traffic Control staff shortages and absences at London Gatwick, it was unfortunately not possible for the flight to land at the airport as planned.

“As Doncaster Sheffield was the only airport which was able to help at such short notice, the flight was redirected to the airport.

“We did all we could do to help our customers get back to Gatwick, however the UK Easter holidays – and lack of available bus and train transfers – made this extremely difficult to manage.

“As a result, Wizz Air has now been in touch with all those affected passengers to apologise directly and accept claims for transportation to be reimbursed.”

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