Devastated family miss flight for £1,500 trip amid Manchester airport chaos

Michelle Donohue and her family missed their flight at Manchester Airport due to long queues, despite their flight returning to the terminal due to a medical emergency

Michelle Donohue, with her husband Robert and their son, missed their flight

A family who missed their flight due to long queues at Manchester Airport were told they still could not board when their plane returned to the runway due to an emergency

Michelle Donohue, 32, had planned a trip to Rome for her husband Robert and 12-year-old son, their flight leaving at 7.15am.

Airport managers admitted this week that recent disruption caused by understaffing could last for weeks, so the family arrived four hours early but still faced long queues, Lancashire reports Live.

Despite their initial concerns, they managed to check in – but were delayed by security where staff members confused the passengers.

As a result, they reached their gate at 7:10 a.m. and, along with 20 other people, were told they could not board.

Their hopes were then rekindled when their plane returned to the runway due to a medical emergency, but the captain insisted they could not rejoin the flight.

Security queues at Manchester Airport


Manchester WS Evening News)

Michelle says the chaos cost them their £1,500 holiday – their first since the pandemic began.

She said: “It was just an absolute nightmare.

“People were just a little freaked out and then we got to this security line and it just stopped, it seemed to go on for hours and hours and hours.

“You can see the staff are overworked and doing two or three jobs at the same time and there were some that when they were delegated a job they were fine and they were happy and they could do it well.

Long delays blamed on lack of staff


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“At one point a guy was letting people pass and he was told by another member of staff to stop letting people pass and he said I had loads of people trying to get out and she said I had plenty of people around here.

“It’s traumatic, it put me off going to this airport and I feel like it’s going to last a long time, it’s not an easy solution.

“A lady had come and taken us with a large group and moved us, then we stopped, and she was on her radio, then she said ‘the place I was going to move you is closed now’. We were like, where are we going?

“My poor son was freaking out.”

The family thought they could board when their plane returned



Upon returning from their plane, they had hoped to board, but were denied, leaving them to collect their luggage.

Michelle added: “They got everyone off that flight so they could look after somebody and so we said, can we get on board now, we’re here.

“Although it’s not our fault and she said no, I’ve already spoken to the pilot and he won’t let you talk, he already has his numbers.”

The flight finally took off again around 9 a.m. – without the family on board.

Michelle was able to get reimbursed for the activities booked in Rome but not yet for the missed flight.

The airport apologized for the continuing problems


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A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “We apologize to those passengers whose experience at Manchester Airport over the past few days has not lived up to their expectations.

“Our industry is facing challenges in scaling up operations very quickly following the removal of Covid restrictions, which have caused immense damage to our sector over the past two years.

“We are actively recruiting for hundreds of new roles in areas such as security, but are advising passengers that due to staff shortages they may have to wait longer than usual in the coming weeks. , and that they should arrive at the earliest time recommended by their airline.

“We understand that airlines and third-party service providers on our site face similar challenges and are working with them to provide the best possible experience under the circumstances.”

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