185 left stranded as jet is sent to Dublin

More than 180 people who were due to fly to Boston yesterday were left stranded in Co Clare overnight because their airplane was needed to take other passengers from Dublin to the same destination.

Aer Lingus flight EI-135 was preparing for boarding ahead of its scheduled 12.40pm departure from Shannon when the 185 passengers were told they would not be travelling.

Passengers were advised that there was a technical problem with the plane.

However, they were not told their aircraft was being sent to Dublin, from where it would continue on to Boston with other airline customers.

Aer Lingus decided to cancel the Shannon/Boston flight and send the Airbus jet to Dublin, where more than 350 passengers were grounded because of issues with their aircraft.

The aircraft which was due to fly from Shannon to Boston departed for Dublin empty at about 1pm. It left there for Boston shortly before 3pm.

Passengers were annoyed at the cancellation.

One passenger, Mrs W Donnellan from Galway, said: “We weren’t told about the cancellation until we were about to board.

“We had checked in, gone through security, immigration, the whole lot. We were told the flight was cancelled and they said it was because of technical difficulties. ”

Mrs Donnellan added: “My husband got fed up and went back home to Galway.

“I didn’t want to have to go all the way to Galway and do it all over again ... so I decided to stay in the hotel for the night.”

One man from Boston, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’m not very happy at all. I came here from Boston last Friday for a funeral and will lose a day’s pay because I’m going to be stuck here for another night. It’s not good enough that we were told at the last minute.”

An Aer Lingus spokesman said: “The flight was cancelled due to technical issues within the fleet. Customers have been provided with hotel accommodation as needed and will be flown from Shannon to Boston on Friday.”

Its understood that two planes were taken out of service at Dublin because one aircraft suffered a technical issue while another jet was damaged after it was struck by a ground vehicle.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit has confirmed that it was advised of the ground incident at Dublin Airport.

Also yesterday, a transatlantic jet was forced to divert to Shannon after an elderly passenger collapsed with a suspected stroke.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight 755 was en route from Guayaquil in Ecuador to Amsterdam in Holland when it diverted, landing at 10.48am.


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