Letchworth dad left out of pocket after family stranded in Egypt for eight days

Lisa and Stella Nightingale in Egypt.

Lisa and Stella Nightingale in Egypt. - Credit: Archant

A Letchworth dad has been left frustrated and out of pocket after his family were stranded in Egypt for eight days beyond their return date.

Tony Nightingale and his two teenage daughters Stella and Lisa were one of the families stuck in Sharm el-Sheikh earlier this month after the UK government halted flights following the downing of a Russian plane at the end of October.

The family finally returned from their trip – planned to tie in with school half-term holidays – on Sunday morning, only to find a welcome home gift of a £520 parking fee at Luton Airport.

Much of Tony’s eight extra days at the hotel – which cost about £300 per night – were spent on hold trying to speak to someone at the budget operator easyJet.

Tony, whose wife Giovanna was working at home, said: “While the idea of having an enforced extra holiday is quite attractive, the lack of reasonable customer care approach by easyJet has left a very sour taste indeed.

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“We were left to fend for ourselves entirely.

“Meanwhile, the local Egyptian news highlighted the imminent approach of ISIS towards Sharm el-Sheikh across the Sinai Peninsular.

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“Staying on hold on their premium line for about an hour a day will undoubtedly have clocked up another few hundred pounds but what else could I do?

“Obviously, I do not blame easyJet for the wider issue – the suspension of flights going to Sharm el-Sheikh was a political decision, of course – but their lack of regard and lack of care for my family was truly appalling.

“All of our luggage remains in Egypt and I am significantly out of pocket.”

An easyJet spokesman said: “We are sorry to hear of Mr Nightingale’s experience in Sharm el-Sheikh.

“Throughout this period, easyJet has worked with the Egyptian authorities and the UK government to return our passengers home as soon as was possible.

“It has been a difficult time for all UK holidaymakers in Sharm el-Sheikh and we have done all we can to help our customers.

“We have provided accommodation for more than 4,000 customers for an average of three nights.

“We have also been keeping customers regularly informed of the situation using the contact details provided by them.

“The last message sent on Sunday, November 8, advised Mr Nightingale to contact us regarding his flight.

“We are continuing to investigate the circumstances around his experience and will be in contact directly with him to discuss this.”

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