Airline investigates breakdown in communication over cancelled flights
Flybe and Serco have both been criticised over their customer care after fog in Sumburgh forced flights to be cancelled.
Some flights which set off for Shetland landed in Orkney and went no further.
Air passengers then endured an uncomfortable night on the North Boat after being left by the flight operator in Kirkwall on Sunday.
Complaints have been sent to Flybe, who are now processing the feedback from disgruntled passengers.
Susan Bowie, of Hillswick, was travelling home from Glasgow when she became caught up in the nightmare journey.
She says elderly passengers were left in the dark about which alternative flights might be available from other airports.
She was even warned off by “snippy” ground staff from Menzies Aviation who threatened to throw her off the flight after she suggested the plane should land at Scatsta.
“Most folk were cancelled and offered refunds, and sent on their way with no flights booked and none available until Thursday, although two poor passengers had been travelling for hours.
“[They did not bother] to tell a passenger who had travelled by plane from Canada that she could get a boat from Aberdeen the next day, or plane from Inverness, Aberdeen or Edinburgh. They just told her she couldn’t get a plane from Glasgow until Thursday or Friday, and sent her away.”
She said no extra planes were made available to deal with the backlog. Similar problems were experienced by air passengers flying from Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Dr Bowie said many passengers opted to take the plane, knowing they would most likely have to land in Kirkwall and then travel overnight on the boat.
“But the staff couldn’t help with a berth, or a reclining seat and they couldn’t help us with transport to get our cars.
“The last time I met ground staff like that was Aeroflot in Moscow circa 1986.”
Dr Bowie said cabin staff “couldn’t have been more helpful”.
Passengers were offered a meal at the Ayre Hotel in Orkney and bused to the boat, where they were handed vouchers for breakfast.
“We were then at the mercy of Serco, who treated us as second class citizens. Most of us had no hope of a reclining seat.
“They have put dividers on the seats to stop any passengers like us without cabins or recliners lying down.”
There were added problems at breakfast time, as the vouchers that had been provided the previous night failed to cover the full cost of a breakfast on the boat.
“As passengers we helped look after the over 80s, and developed a camaraderie in adversity.
“However no one in authority in ether the boat, Serco, Loganair or Flybe made any attempts to help these very elderly, which is just not good enough.”
Loganair say they are now investigating a breakdown in communications.
More on this story in Friday’s Shetland Times.