Next time you find yourself angered by a minor delay at the airport, always remember that it could be worse. Much worse.
That was the experience of the 120 passengers on Easyjet flight EZY8977 from London Gatwick to Sofia, Bulgaria.
Halfway through the flight, the captain announced that the airplane would have to divert to Bucharest airport due to heavy snow in Sofia. The plane landed at 2am, and the airline managed to put everyone up in a local hotel. So far, nothing too out of the ordinary.
It then took Easyjet till 6pm to find a bus for the trip from Bucharest to Sofia, and once they finally boarded the bus, they encountered bus drivers who did not know their way around, and had to navigate through icy roads in sub zero temperatures. It took the drivers 12 hours to make the 250 mile journey.
When the poor passengers finally made it to Sofia, they were 32 hours late.
To add insult to injury, authorities at Sofia airport are clueless as to why the captain decided to divert the plane, as the runway at their airport had never closed, and several planes landed just fine, even after the diversion. Easyjet continues to claim the airport was closed due to heavy snow.
I’ve been on my fair share of delayed and diverted flights, but I have to admit that this one really does sound like it could not get much worse. Some of the passengers were heading to Bulgaria for a ski vacation, and the insane delay completely ruined their plans. Whether the passengers have a case will probably depend on EU aviation laws, but I’m sure all the bad press for Easyjet will help bring a swift payment to keep them quiet.