British Airways sent some passengers to spend the night in a brothel after a couple of flights got canceled. Other passengers had to spend the night at the airport because British Airways said that there were no hotel rooms available.
What are the details?
Last Wednesday, February 13th, British Airways canceled two flights departing from St. Lucia.
The first one, BA2159 from St. Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop Airport (GND), was supposed to depart at 4:00 pm and arrive at 4:50 pm.
The second one, BA2158, was scheduled to depart St. Lucia at 8:45 pm. The flight was bound for London Gatwick (LGW). It was delayed a few times before British Airways decided to cancel it.
It is not clear why the flights got canceled. We do know, however, that the cancellations left numerous passengers stranded at the airport.
The crew and some passengers were put up in hotels by British Airways. Other passengers did not get that lucky though. Some of them were sent to an accommodation that turned out to be a brothel, while others were forced to spend the night at the airport sleeping on the floor. This group reportedly included several seniors in their seventies and a single female passenger.
British Airways claimed that there were no rooms available. Apparently, all hotels were booked out due to a cricket tournament that had attracted many visitors.
Even worse, no representatives from British Airways were available at the airport to assist the passengers or provide updates regarding their flights. British Airways did communicate with the passengers via Twitter though.
The passengers were finally able to depart St. Lucia the next day about 24 hours after their originally scheduled departure.
What did the passengers say?
Several passengers shared their experience on Twitter.
A female passenger posted the following: “[…] No rooms in hotels. I am left at airport. It is 0136 local time. I am frightened. No BA rep. The crew are tucked up safely. Have been awake over 24hrs. Please help.”
Another passenger shared: “At least 20 people sleeping in the terminal at Hewanorra airport, St. Lucia following cancellation of @British_Airways BA2158/9. No information about food, water or onward travel. Not a single public announcement since the flight was cancelled. Local staff left to try to help.”
Flight cancellations happen for a variety of reasons, but it appears that British Airways did not have a good handle on the situation. The airline stated that it provided hotel rooms for most of the passengers. It also mentioned that it allowed passengers to stay at the business class lounge at the airport and gave them food and drinks as well as bedding to stay comfortable.
It is not clear why the passengers were not aware of these offerings, and why they ended up sleeping on the floor in the terminal building. Nonetheless, based on passenger accounts, there was a serious lack of communication between the airline and the stranded passengers. Hopefully, British Airways will learn from this experience and communicate more effectively with the passengers next time one of its flights gets canceled.
Have you ever been stranded after a flight got canceled? Did you have to spend the night at the airport? Share your experience with us!