A newlywed couple narrowly avoided seeing their honeymoon plans left in tatters, as they became caught up with thousands of other stranded passengers at Gatwick, after all flights were cancelled following reports of drones flying close to the site.
Gatwick’s chief operating officer blasted the “irresponsible” act of flying drones over the site, adding that 10,000 people had been affected by the closure, including 2,000 whose flights had been unable to take off.
Among the flights disrupted was EasyJet EZY8818 from Tel Aviv to London, which was due to land at 21:45 London time, but was cancelled by the airline on Thursday afternoon.
A Jewish newlywed couple, Hope and Daniel Eder, were caught up in the disruption – choosing to pull their bags off a New York-bound Norwegian Air flight, and pay for a cab to Heathrow where they bought new tickets to the U.S.
Hope told Jewish News their 9.50am “flight was still scheduled to be on time” when they woke up at 5am on Thursday morning. “We headed to the airport. The check in lounge was mayhem, and some of the lines for different airlines were right to the back of the airport.
“We checked in pretty quickly, then when we got upstairs, the departure board was just saying ‘wait another hour’. We were there from about seven until about half 12, before we made the decision to try and get our cases and see what we could do.
“We had to shell out for a taxi from Gatwick to Heathrow, and we had to pay for another flight to get to New York.
“I don’t know how much money we can claim back. Norwegian air have sent us a message to say our flight has now been cancelled and we can either get a refund or re-book so we’re going to try and get the money back from that”.
“Obviously it wasn’t nice. but you’ve just got to stay calm about it. There’s no point crying about it. Do the best you can in a bad situation and hopefully we’ll get there today and it will all be fine, just a bit later than planned. But obviously not nice to happen!”
All flights up to at least 4pm have been cancelled by the airport’s authorities.