The passengers were left without instruction for hours (Picture: SWNS)
More than 100 people were left without food and water after being told to disembark from the plane while it was still on the tarmac on February 7.
The pilot had smelled something ‘chemical’, resulting in the flight being delayed and specialists brought in to investigate.
A total of 106 passengers were then asked to ‘go back into the terminal’ at 7:40pm and await further instructions on the flight.
Passengers were left in limbo as EasyJet representatives and crew allegedly ‘went home’ once the flight was grounded, leaving a third party company, airport ground handling firm Swissport, to organise passenger’s welfare.
One passenger said: ‘I asked if I should get my children some food, and the representative simply said, “Go out and wait for twenty minutes until there is an update”.’
Were you on EasyJet flight EZY1506 on February 7 from Birmingham to Geneva? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
The flight did eventually make it to Geneva – the next morning (Picture: AP)
After waiting for an hour and hearing nothing, the flight then ‘disappeared’ from the departure information screen in the airport.
The passenger added: ‘I only knew that the flight had officially been cancelled when I asked another passenger who was leaving the seating area what was happening, and he told me it was cancelled.’
Problems got worse for passengers after some had difficulty proving they were even on the flight as the Easyjet app deleted their boarding passes once the flight was cancelled, and they were initially stopped from collecting their own baggage.
Other passengers didn’t know they had been rebooked on the flight the following morning.
One member of airport staff said: ‘I would be fuming if this was me.’
Kristin Beattie, 57, from Loughborough, had to book her husband a last-minute hotel in Geneva after he had driven 110 miles from the French ski resort to collect her, only to find that she wouldn’t be arriving.
Passengers were still waiting at 11pm (Picture: SWNS)
She said: ‘I was getting picked up in Geneva by someone who’s driven from Orelle, so I’ve had to book him a hotel in Geneva. I was only staying until Sunday so a whole day of our holiday has gone.
‘Sitting on the plane they were very quick at telling you what’s going on and how we were not going anywhere, and at quarter past ten we were still stuck at the check-in desks at departures.
‘We’ve been sitting here like mugs. I wanted to just book a hotel, which I could have done hours ago, but they may never pay you back.’
Another group travelling to the ski resort of La Clusaz said their airport transfer had charged them as a ‘no show’ for not being able to travel.
They said: ‘The taxi firm in France told us it would be an expensive night [for passengers] because of all the cancellations.
‘Others had been charged for accommodation in Geneva they couldn’t check into because they were not there.’
According to the Civil Aviation Authority, airlines have a legal responsibility to provide food, water and accommodation to passengers if their flight is delayed.
Passengers whose flight is cancelled can claim compensation of up to £220 per passenger for short-haul, and £520 per person for long haul if their flight arrives more than two hours after its initial arrival time.
A spokesperson for easyJet said: ‘We can confirm that flight EZY1506 from Birmingham to Geneva on Wednesday 7 February was delayed overnight due to a technical issue with the aircraft.
‘We did all possible to minimise the disruption for our customers, providing hotel rooms and coaches for all who required them and our ground handling partner Swissport assisted customers in the airport throughout and advised that any food and refreshment costs during this time would be reimbursed.
‘The flight continued to Geneva at 09:20am the next morning. The safety of our customers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority and easyJet operates its fleet of aircraft in strict compliance with all manufacturers’ guidelines.’
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