After their plane turned around midway through their flight to Mauritius, hundreds of British Airways customers spent the whole night travelling from Gatwick to central Egypt and back. On Tuesday evening at 7:38 p.m., a Boeing 777 departed Gatwick for what was supposed to be a 12-hour, 6,050-mile flight south of the Equator.
Prior to flying close to the Nile and into Egyptian airspace, the aircraft flew regularly over France, Switzerland, Italy, and the Mediterranean. However, the plane turned around and returned on nearly the same track about midnight GMT. It was “due of a technical issue,” the airline later explained.
On Wednesday morning, the travellers discovered themselves back at the West Sussex airport at 4.45am rather than landing on the tropical island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. The flight has been rescheduled for Wednesday at 4 p.m. If all goes as planned, the passengers will arrive at their destination more than 20 hours late.
Hundreds of travellers on the other end of the voyage find themselves with an unexpected extra day in Mauritius. A technical issue with the departing aircraft forced us to make the unfortunate choice to postpone your departure to London Gatwick overnight, despite our best efforts, we were informed by email. We do not minimize the inconvenience that may result from this. We really regret the alteration to your travel schedule, and we will make every effort to be of assistance.
The new time for your departure is 10:05 local time on December 8 and your arrival is 18:25 local time on December8.”You will claim reasonable costs for hotel lodging, local transportation, and other necessary supplies you may need overnight.
Additionally, “We’ll pay the cost of meals up to £20 each meal for adults and £10 for children under 12 years of age, as well as up to £25 for telephone costs/internet access.”