Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Saturday, 20 December 2008

Tears as Lapland trip cancelled

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Families were told of the cancellation at the departure gate

Children were left in tears after an air trip to see Father Christmas in Lapland was cancelled.

Hundreds of people were due to board the one-day round trip to Enontekio at Manchester Airport when airline Blueline announced it could not fly.

A spokesman said the weather conditions did not meet "safe and operational" standards at the destination.

One family said parents were "extremely cross and emotional" after the cancellation was announced.

Parents were shouting and screaming and there were women and children crying
Colin Davies

Colin Davies, of Buckley, Flintshire, was travelling with his wife, two sons aged nine and seven, and five other family members.

He said: "We had already been delayed and were in the secure area ready to board when the announcement was made that the flight was cancelled.

"People were already agitated because of the delay, but parents were shouting and screaming and there were women and children crying.

"We were distraught."

Mr Davies said operator Transun had told the 166 passengers that they would be getting a full refund.

'Passenger safety'

A spokesman for Blueline said: "This was an operational air safety decision as conditions at the destination were not compatible with air safety procedure."

The Davies family had spent thousands of pounds on the trip.

Mr Davies said: "We only told Jack and Toby in the morning about the trip, but lots of the children there had been looking forward to it for months."

A Manchester Airport spokesman said: "While we're disappointed for the families and particularly the children who were looking forward to the trip, the safety of the passengers who use our airport is of great importance so we understand the reasons behind the airline's decision.

"We look forward to the situation being resolved between those affected and the operator they booked through."

No-one from Transun was available for comment.



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