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Ryanair debarcle at Carcassonne

Posted: Sun 21 Jan 2018 22:54
by Richard and Sharon
No, it wasnt the baggage!

The plane for this afternoons Dublin flight from Carcassonne got diverted to Perpignan.
Then the plane for this evenings Stansted flight circled overhead for ages.

Meanwhile the Porto flight arrived, landed, discharged its passengers and boarded to go. So, the airport was clearly operational!

The plane for Stansted was still circling over Carcassonne, but then it flew off to Montpellier. We watched it go on another passengers 'phone.

About half an hour later it was announced that the Stansted flight was cancelled and that passengers could join one queue to book a hotel or a different queue to book any other Ryanair flight.

No information was given about availability and the airport wifi appeared to have crashed. Proably all 140'ish passengers trying to use it at once.
When trying to find more information about our options, I was told rather curtly, just to join one of the queues to get information. A night in a local Hotel or rebook any Ryanair flight was the only choices offered

Shortly after that, we were told that tomorrows flight from Toulouse was full, so we rebooked for Wednesdays flight from Carcassonne to Stansted.

Having no clothes or even a toothbrush between us,three nights in a hotel was not a favoured option, so we hired a car at an inflated rate (I think we got the last one) and returned to Collioure. (just arrived) We were told, but not officially, that we would not be compensated because our action was not based on an offer of support from Ryanair!!!!!

Has anyone heard what the #@*$ was going on? (Yes, I am angry) :x

Posted: Mon 22 Jan 2018 00:13
by Helen
Sounds like a nightmare....

I did spot this ... 089285.php

Effectively poor visibility!

But that doesn't explain why you saw the Porto flight land whilst the Stansted one diverted.

Posted: Mon 22 Jan 2018 07:47
by Webdoc
Helen wrote:But that doesn't explain why you saw the Porto flight land whilst the Stansted one diverted.
I believe that the decision about whether it's safe to land or not rests with the individual pilot.

We had this once when a landing at Perpignan was alarmingly aborted at the last minute. We went in circles for an hour before diverting to Carcassone. The Captain apologised, saying "Perpignan lied to me about the visibility"!

Posted: Mon 22 Jan 2018 09:48
by Richard and Sharon
Sorry for the rant, I probably should have slept before posting. I thought somebody may have heard something, and you did. Thank you for the link to the article. It was poor weather when we were on the A61 approaching Carcassonne.

We knew the plane was circulated because the guy who was taking the carry on bags for loading, was popping out of the gate doors from time to time and updating us because he could see the plane. I assume the pilot could see the runway as well, so the visibility must have improved. But as you say, the decision rests with the pilot. He has ultimate responsibility for safety.
It was strange that the Porto plane landed but the Stansted plane did not. Maybe different levels of confidence were involved.

Apart from the unofficial sky scanning of our friend in hi-vis there was no information coming from the airport at all until after the plane had arrived at Montpellier.

Posted: Mon 22 Jan 2018 20:00
by Helen
I have been known to use

when waiting for a plane!

Sad - but useful when there's no info to be had. You can at least see where the it is!

Posted: Tue 23 Jan 2018 19:13
by Richard and Sharon
Thanks Helen, I think that may have been what we were looking at on the other passengers 'phone. Amazing the info you can get these days!
We were sitting in the sun outside for lunch today and I was thinking I'm quite glad the plane was cancelled.
Yes, it was very annoying, but its surprising how quickly the mental healing properties of being back in the PO worked!javascript:emoticon(':lol:')

Posted: Wed 24 Jan 2018 13:45
by Helen
More on the subject of diverting flights from Carcassonne here: ... 089772.php

Posted: Wed 24 Jan 2018 23:12
by Richard and Sharon
Interesting, thanks for the update. With so many passengers lost, I wonder why they have not sorted that out.

I did a jump seat trip a few years ago, with a friend who was a Monarch Captain. While we were landing at Luton, he was explaining to me how the plane can land itself in thick fog there, controlled by the electronics on the ground. Obviously Luton is much bigger, but it shows what technology is capable of. Unless Ryanair are passing on the full cost of the claims, etc. each time this happens, I can imagine them pulling out of Carcassonne. That would be a shame.

All went to plan for them today and we are back in cold, damp England. I suppose I should feel pleased!

Posted: Fri 26 Jan 2018 10:03
by Gus Morris
Extreme weather events at Carcassonne are not unknown. The Aude valley has some very odd meteorological aspects.

The decision to land in adverse conditions takes account of a number of discrete elements. All up weight of the plane, runway length, margins of error and the ability to take off once the passengers have disembarked. Not all airports are in the same category. That is, the level of sophistication of the infrastructure varies.

Never an easy decision for the captain.


Posted: Sun 28 Jan 2018 13:58
by rogb
Indeed. The pilot on our flight from Edinburgh to Carcassonne on 5 December attempted two landings through a very low cloud base, circling for over an hour in case the cloud burned off in the sunshine (it didn't), before diverting to a sun-drenched Perpignan.

To give Perpignan airport and Ryanair due credit, we were all through customs and the baggage hall very quickly and 2 coaches were ready waiting outside to take passengers who wished back to Carcassonne. We were on our way from the airport within 45 minutes, much quicker than expected.