Sunday’s snowstorm in the Czech Republic caused travel inconveniences for many in the country, but perhaps none more than the 189 Ryanair passengers at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport aboard a flight bound for Madrid.
After being delayed for multiple hours on Sunday morning, passengers boarded the Ryanair flight from Prague around noon – but were dismayed to find out that their delay didn’t end there.
Passengers waited aboard the flight for another six hours while taxied at Václav Havel, during which time they were reportedly not allowed to leave the aircraft nor given food or drink, writes Euro Weekly News based on social accounts of those on board.
“Three hours ago they put us on the plane, and without offering us water or food they will not give us information,” passenger Argimiro Pérez wrote on Twitter.
“We see frozen wings. A passenger is sick.”
Esto está pasando ?? pic.twitter.com/rUZujI200V
— Argimiro Pérez (@Aargimiro) February 3, 2019
Prague Airport wouldn’t even confirm the delay was due to the snow, instead attributing the situation to lack of communication from Ryanair.
“The reason for the delay was that the airline did not communicate with the airport,” Airport spokesperson Roman Pacvoň told Novinky.cz.
“After flying to Prague, the plane was taxied in a workable parking space, so we can not confirm at this point that the reason for the delay was snow.”
According to Pérez, passengers were also not provided hotel accommodation, and had to pay out of pocket after being re-booked on a replacement flight the following day – despite an official statement from Ryanair that claims passengers were given food and drink while aboard, and provided with accommodation.
“Stop lying publicly Ryanair,” he later tweeted, “when all the passengers have the invoices of the hotels that we had to pay for ourselves and the tickets of the taxis that we also had to pay.”
“What happened on flight #FR2676?”
To add insult to injury, passengers boarded the same aircraft the following day for the replacement flight – and had to wait another two hours on board for takeoff, during which time some passengers left the plane.
A full 26 hours after the original scheduled time, the aircraft safely landed in Madrid yesterday afternoon.
Update: shortly after publishing this article, Ryanair reached out to us with an official statement:
“Snow at Prague airport and slow airport de-icing services caused a number of delays on Sunday (3 Feb) including this flight to Madrid. Crew opened the bars onboard and served refreshments, but the flight was regrettably cancelled, as the crew went out of hours. All customers were provided with hotel accommodation and boarded a replacement flight, which departed to Madrid the following day. We sincerely apologised to all affected customers.”