Man forced to pay £566 taxi from Belfast Airport after flight diverted during Storm Fergus

A man was forced to for out for an eye-watering £566 taxi fare after Storm Fergus wreaked havoc on his holiday plans. David Edwards ended up having to complete a marathon 292-mile journey from Belfast Airport to Cork.

In a shock move, Aer Lingus offered to forkout for the charter skipper’s full 660-euro fare – even offering to pay the fare directly, meaning David did not have to break out the debit card when he finally got home, CorkBeo reports.

Dave boarded his flight from Bristol on Monday afternoon after spending some quality time with his mum in Cardiff. But the simple flight across the Irish Sea ended up instead being a saga of trains, planes and cars.

Fearing cancellations due to Storm Fergus, David decided against booking a ferry – settling for what was sure to be a bumpy flight back to Cork airport to make it back for the start of the working week. But ironically, by the end of his journey he ended up further away from home than when started. While a direct flight from Bristol travels 218-miles to reach Cork Airport, he had to commute nearly 300 miles by road to get back to West Cork from Belfast.

David described the whole experience as ‘an adventure’, adding he was not really shaken by the lengthy delays and terrible turbulence that left many other passengers in tears.

He said: “As we were getting towards Cork, the pilot told us that there was no way we were getting into Cork Airport cause the weather was too bad. We then went up to Dublin, and as we started coming down through the clouds you could see a complete white-out from the blizzard, and it got a bit bumpy.

“I’ve a background in flying myself so I didn’t really mind, but a lot of people were scared – some people were crying. We were around Dublin Airport for 10 minutes, only took one approach to land cause it was very obvious that we weren’t getting in with the weather. Then we were off to Belfast.”

They reached Belfast’s International Airport just after 7pm, where passengers were finally able to get in touch with anxious relatives left waiting for them back in Cork. David said they were all told to wait in the terminal for buses back home – but as they had no Aer Lingus representative to speak to in the building, many ran out of patience and started to book their own transport home.

Finally, a member of the airport staff got in touch with the airline, whereafter all passengers received a number of options to help them reach their intended destination. The Cork skipper was offered a fully paid taxi back to Cork Airport, driving himself the last leg of the journey to get in the door early the next morning. David said: “I finally got home at around 1 am. The taxi to Cork cost me £566.80, but Aer Lingus paid direct for me, saved quite a bit of hassle.

“My wife and dogs were waiting for me at home. She was a bit nervous before I rang her, she knew that the flight had taken off but saw that it said it was cancelled online, so she was kind of like, ‘Uh-oh’. The most important thing is that everyone got down safely. Of course there were people worried about missing work the next day and things like that, but everyone was okay and it was a bit of an adventure at the end of the day.”

David’s plane wasn’t the only diverted flight yesterday however. Many flights scheduled to land in Cork during the Status Yellow Wind Warning were sent across the country due to strong crosswinds over the region. The first two flights – a KLM plane from Amsterdam and a Ryanair plane from Dublin – were sent up to Shannon airport in the early afternoon, finally reaching the ground after suffering delays of up to an hour and 40 minutes.

Between 4pm and 5pm, three more Ryanair planes coming from Birmingham, Tenerife and Paris were diverted up to Dublin Airport.

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