THERE was chaos at Belfast International Airport at the weekend when one disruptive passenger led to 300 travellers having to camp for the night on the airport’s floor.
A plane en route from Rome to Chicago had to be diverted to Northern Ireland as one passenger became out of hand. But after handing him over to Security at Belfast, the plane was unable to take off again due to working time restrictions for flight crew.
Passengers said they were stranded on the plane from 7pm until midnight on Saturday, when they were told they would not be taking off again that night. Worse was to come when airline and airport staff were unable to track down hotel rooms for the hundreds of travellers, and they were bedded down on the tiles of the airport concourse.
An Antrim councillor told the Belfast Telegraph that he found it hard to believe that hotel or B&B rooms could not be found for the passengers, adding: “This is an embarrassment for Northern Ireland and it sends out totally the wrong signal. It is a bad advert for people coming to stay here.”