A flight between Orlando and London normally takes approximately eight hours. For over 200 British Airways passengers, however, it develops into a three-day long ordeal.
BA flight 2036 what to take off from Orlando International Airport at 7:25 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 1 and arrive in London at 8:25 am local time on Friday (3:25 am ET). Gatwick Airport on Sunday, November 4, 7 days ago left Florida.
On Thursday, passengers waited on the plane for four hours after mechanical issues kept the plane grounded, forcing the passengers to stay in a hotel in Orlando for the night.
"Imagine 200 people turning up in the early hours to check in to a hotel," passenger Sarah Wilson was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"It was a chaos and there was not a BA representative in sight taking charge."
According to Wilson, the coach takes passengers back to the airport. ET. The flight took five hours later, already running almost six hours behind schedule. Just 40 minutes into the flight, another "minor technical issue" saw the plane diverging to New York's John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) Airport.
Passengers were reportedly left stranded without information or access to food and drink on the floor at JFK Terminal 7.
Images of children sleeping on the airport's floor and having no accommodation were swiftly shared on social media by irate passengers.
"BA's customer service was disgusting, absolutely abhorrent," Wilson added. "It was the journey from hell when it was supposed to be a holiday on a lifetime that we saved up for years to go on."
They were treated inhumanely, all we wanted was some food and drink, somewhere to sleep and to be informed – and they failed.
Passengers reportedly had to wait until 6 a.m. ET for BA staff to arrive at JFK and Wilson told the BBC family to go to a hotel in Queens, which they had to pay for themselves.
Another passenger, Rosie Slater Watts, insisted she would never fly with her again.
"We were treated with contempt and like we did not matter," she was quoted as saying by The Guardian,
"When we got on the aborted flight, the customer care manager advised that they were not sure the aircraft had been fixed. No way would we ever use BA again. "
In a statement, the airline has always been busier than usual.
"We appreciate that this is an exhausting and frustrating experience for our customers, and we have apologized for the long delay to their flight," it said.
"Customers were reimbursed where possible and while they were staying in the hotel.