Travellers to and from Belfast International Airport have been subject to serious delays and cancellations in recent days, with serious disruptions taking place over the weekend for passengers flying to London, Portugal and Greece.

There have been reports of serious delays and even cancellations from airlines including TUI and EasyJet for Belfast-based travellers.

Over the weekend, a group of four holidaymakers from Fermanagh were delayed for two days in Kos, Greece, before flying home with the airline TUI.

One of the holidaymakers caught in the delay spoke to The Impartial Reporter about his ordeal. He said: “We originally were meant to fly home on Saturday night at 9.05pm; we got through security to the shop and gate area, where on the TV and the intercom, an announcement was made to say our flight had been delayed for an hour.”

Explaining how the situation then developed, he said: “Out of nowhere, an announcement was made to say our Belfast flight was boarding now, which caused confusion and panic for the Belfast passengers.

“We were at the gate, and another announcement was made on the intercom that our flight had been cancelled until the next day.”

The Fermanagh man praised how airport staff handled the disruption as police escorted affected passengers through security. Later, TUI provided passengers with all-inclusive accommodation and food.

However, the holidaymakers’ ordeal had only begun, explained the holidaymaker. “The next morning, we got an email and text from TUI saying that our flight would depart at 10.10pm on the Sunday night, which was 25 hours after the original departure.

“Another text was sent out to say a TUI rep would be on hand at the hotel at 6pm to answer our questions for an hour before we boarded the buses back to the airport at 7pm.

However, when the rep arrived, she broke the news that the flight had been cancelled for a second day. People started to get rowdy; people were crying, and families were shouting that they’d no formula left for their babies.”

The group were later informed their rescheduled flight would depart Greece at 1.30pm on the Monday afternoon, with that flight then delayed to a 2.45pm departure, before all eventually arrived safely back in Belfast.

Reflecting on the travel situation, the holidaymaker said: “We travelled as a group of four, and we all have jobs that were affected on Monday with some of us having to take unnecessary holiday days [to cover our unexpected absence].

“Some people might say we are lucky that we got an extra two-day holiday at an all-inclusive hotel, and in a sense we are, but on the other hand the uncertainty around getting home, and a lack of communication from TUI regarding the problem, was a nightmare.”

A TUI spokesperson said: “We’d like to apologise to customers due to travel on flight TOM1649 from Kos to Belfast, which was unable to depart as planned due to operational issues.

“We understand that delays are frustrating, and we thank all impacted customers for their patience. Customers on this flight are entitled to compensation in line with regulations, and have already been sent information on how to submit a claim.”ion on how to submit a claim.”