Last updated: 05:43 PM ET, Sat April 11 2015

33-Hour Delay for Virgin Atlantic Flight

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | April 11, 2015

33-Hour Delay for Virgin Atlantic Flight

Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail

Describing the experience using such adjectives as “excruciating” and “an absolute nightmare,” 403 passengers due to leave on a Virgin Atlantic flight  from Las Vegas to London late afternoon Easter Monday instead endured 33 hours of weather and mechanical delays, finally taking off early Wednesday, according to the Daily Mail. And now some of the air travelers may be seeking legal action.

Flight VS44 was due to leave McCarran Airport in Las Vegas  at 4.30pm local time on Monday, but as related to MailOnline Travel by British passenger Jennifer Glogiewicz, the delays began mounting, and they ended up being driven back and forth from Tropicana Las Vegas hotel repeatedly. “They just kept telling us the air [conditioning] wasn't working and plane [too] warm to board. Then later they said there was also a rudder issue,” Glogiewicz said. “The part needed was in the UK and that it would be flown in on tomorrow's inbound Vegas flight, then it would fitted and we would be flown home.”

Monday night featured a hotel stay, but Tuesday night had no such amenity. Then on Wednesday morning, after a two-hour wait on the runway which ran up the elapsed time between planned takeoff time, and actually takeoff time to 33 hours, the plane took off for an uneventful journey to Gatwick airport in London.

In response to frustrated fliers, a Virgin Atlantic spokesman said: “We always try our best to get things right for our customers and we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused by the delay of flight VS44 from Las Vegas to London Gatwick on April 6. On this occasion, the initial delay was caused by a technical fault with the aircraft and the delay was then extended because of strong winds around the McCarran airport area which hampered our engineers carrying out the repairs. All of our customers were provided with hotel accommodation and meals while they waited, and we will reimburse them for any reasonable out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, we will be providing eligible customers with EU compensation to the equivalent of €600 per person.

But it’s not enough for some passengers, and it seems they are willing to take group action to get more substantial compensation. London banker Michael Jazanovich told London's Evening Standard: “It was an absolute nightmare for everyone involved. The delays were unacceptable and excruciating as they were pushed back and back and people had to sleep in the airport. We are expecting a lot more [than €600]. We have lost our time and had an awful experience. We deserve a lot more and, by taking a group action, we can work together to get this. We could share a lawyer, we are willing to take it as far as we need to.”

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