Halsbury Travel Rescues Group From Loreto College, St Albans, After French Air Traffic Controllers' Strike Leaves Them Stranded in Madrid.

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Specialist School and Group Tour Operator Halsbury Travel Has Once Again Demonstrated Its Lightning Speed Reactions to Help School Groups Stranded Abroad Due to the French Air Traffic Controllers' Strikes of 8th and 9th April.

French Air Traffic Control Strike

French Air Traffic Control Strike

Within 1 hour 30 minutes of the airline offices being opened we had sourced the best alternative flights at the best prices to get all 26 members of the party back to the UK, with a total delay of around just 18 hours.

The French air traffic control strikes that took place last week (on 8th and 9th April) left 23 students and 3 staff from Loreto College of St Albans stranded in Madrid, where they had been on a language trip with Halsbury Travel.

Air carrier Easyjet announced the cancellation of their flights back to the UK from Madrid at 21.20 on Wednesday 8th April. Loreto College were due to fly back from Madrid at 17.05 the following day.

Halsbury Travel’s Managing Director, Keith Sharkey, commented: “We received a phone call at around 22.00 on Wednesday 8th April from a very concerned party leader who had just learned from his wife that the group’s flights had been cancelled. We confirmed that we had received a notification of the cancellation from Easyjet just 20 minutes previously. We explained that some 20,000 passengers would have to rearrange flights for some time after the 9th April and that we would be on the case as soon as the airline offices opened at around 08.00 the following morning.”

By 09.15 the next day Halsbury had sourced BA flights for 10th April at 12.05 from Madrid to London Heathrow.

New arrangements were made for airport transfers in Madrid and the booking for the group was confirmed to the party leader who was very relieved.

Keith Sharkey stated: “We had contacted the clients’ insurers to make sure that they were covered and within 1 hour 30 minutes of the airline offices being opened we had sourced the best alternative flights at the best prices to get all 26 members of the party back to the UK, with a total delay of around just 18 hours. We had looked into hiring coaches, taking scheduled bus seats from Madrid to London and every other option we could think of. Luckily, our swift action meant that we were able to secure 26 seats together for the next day.”

Halsbury made arrangements for the party to stay an extra night at the hotel where they had been staying and the group travelled back to the UK on 10th April.

Any extra costs should be covered by the group’s travel insurance policy, which is provided as part of the package.    

Editor’s notes:

This is not the first time that Halsbury Travel has stepped in to assist school groups whose travel plans have been disrupted by external forces. In 2010, several groups found themselves stranded as flights were grounded due to the volcanic ash cloud that descended across Europe.

The tour operator provided numerous coaches and ferry crossings to ensure that most groups managed to return to the UK with as little as 12 to 24 hours delay, at no extra cost. More information.

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Katie Sharkey
@HalsburyTravel
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