Stranded Irish tourists to make own way home

Cork senior hurler Conor O'Sullivan and girlfriend Caroline McCarthy among the stranded holidaymakers

More than a dozen Irish tourists stranded in Thailand when fog closed an airport in Abu Dhabi are to make their own way home after giving up on Etihad Airways.

Cork senior hurler Conor O’Sullivan and his girlfriend Caroline McCarthy were among the stranded holidaymakers who were last night facing a marathon three-flight, 24-hour journey home from Phuket.

O’Sullivan lashed out at Etihad for its handling of the situation.

“It’s been a complete disaster,” he said, as he prepared last night to board a flight to Seoul in Korea, before flying to Paris, and finally to Dublin.

“We’re not fools and we know Etihad can’t control the weather. Everyone understands that.

“It’s how they dealt with it. We got absolutely no information about what was going on.

“They’ve won awards for customer service but, to be honest, I don’t know how they managed it after seeing how they handled this situation.”

The couple’s return flight with Etihad on Saturday was among 20 return flights the airline had to cancel.

They and about 200 other holidaymakers were given hotel accommodation in Phuket, paid for by Etihad.

Etihad apologised yesterday for the inconvenience and thanked customers for their patience.


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