It’s a sight to send a chill down the spine of any airline passenger – a large crack found on a window before take-off.
The damage was discovered on one of El Al’s new £60million Dreamliner planes on Monday, ahead of a scheduled flight to Tel Aviv.
Delayed for almost two days as a result of the crack, flight LY316 eventually landed in Israel in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
One passenger, who asked to remain anonymous, described his 30-hour “ordeal” to Jewish News. He said: “After engineers spent an hour trying to fix the window – during which time we all stayed in our seats, we were taken to the terminal lounge where we spent another two hours, before being told the flight had been cancelled. We were taken to a hotel airport where food and accommodation was provided. They did look after us and didn’t leave us high and dry.”
He added: “We were told on Tuesday that a plane would take us back at 12 noon [that day], but that didn’t materialise. I was also offered, as a business class customer, a flight via Europe, but again that didn’t work out and in hindsight would have got me to Israel just four hours before we eventually arrived there.
“Eventually we were told a plane was being sent over to Luton, which meant we were transferred there from Heathrow. We then got a late flight out, arriving in Tel Aviv in the early hours of Wednesday morning.”
Saying he wouldn’t be put off travelling with the airline in the future, he added: “At the time I was very annoyed, it was chaos – organised chaos – and a bit of a shambles. But looking ahead, I would travel with them again.
“We have to remember that this was a unfortunate accident and the fact there were over 300 passengers to be looked after, they did well given the circumstances and of course did not jeopardise our safety.”
El Al has been contacted for a response.