Page last updated at 06:50 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 07:50 UK

'I have to take three flights to get back'

Plane of the airline company Zoom
All of Zoom's flights have now been cancelled

Transatlantic budget carrier Zoom Airlines has suspended all flights after applying to go into administration.

Thousands of passengers due to fly with Zoom have been told to rebook with other carriers.

Zoom passengers have been explaining their frustrations after having had their trips cancelled.

PAUL AIKMAN, STRANDED IN VANCOUVER

I was on holiday with some friends, it was a trip to celebrate finishing uni. We bought our tickets with Zoom for about 200 which was great as we didn't have much money.

Paul Aikman

We arrived in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago and were due to fly back to Glasgow on Wednesday.

We got to the airport on time and checked in. The flight was due to leave at 4.30pm, but just after 4pm, we were told there would be a delay.

We were told technical problems had delayed the plane and that it wouldn't be leaving until about 7.30pm.

After seven we were told by one of the managers that there would be a further delay.

But then we were told the flight had been cancelled.

The staff said they would provide hotels, transport to get us to the accommodation and some food.

But later they said they wouldn't be able to provide us with anything.

We left the airport at 9pm that night. Thankfully we were staying with friends and had asked them to put us up for a couple of extra nights.

In the morning I saw a news report about the airline going into administration. I knew then that we would have to book alternative flights home.

I went online and got seats on the next available flight for 630 each, we were lucky to get them, but at least we will get home soon.

BRENDA BAILES, STUCK IN OTTAWA

I was flying from Gatwick to Ottawa with my husband. We were connecting in Halifax in Canada.

We arrived in Halifax to get our connecting flight and it was then that things started to go wrong.

A Zoom plane

A minuscule fault was discovered in a door latch which needed to be fixed by the engineers. This was completed whilst we all remained on board.

Permission to fly on to Ottawa was then denied and we were kept on the plane for over six hours.

Eventually we were given overnight hotel accommodation.

The next morning we returned to the airport, and got back on the plane, we stayed there until 1130.

We were told then that the plane was waiting for five passengers who had checked in but disappeared.

We were quite shocked when we were then told to disembark.

When we were off the plane we were herded by police with dogs into a retaining room, where we were guarded and not allowed to leave.

It was here we finally learned that Zoom had gone bust.

Police refused to allow us to leave the room for 30 minutes and the situation became very ugly.

Finally we were told we could leave. But then it was a case of finding another flight to get us to Ottawa.

We got there a day late but still have to sort out our journey home.

DAN HENNELL, STRANDED IN HALIFAX, CANADA

I was on a plane with my wife which was due to leave Halifax on Wednesday evening.

We were told that because of mechanical failure there would be a delay. Eventually we were told that the flight wouldn't be leaving that night.

Dan Hennell

Luckily we were staying with friends so we were able to go back to their house until the next morning.

The next day we arrived at the airport, checked-in and boarded the plane.

We had been sitting on the plane for over an hour when I noticed that cargo was being unloaded from the hold.

Shortly after that there was an announcement from the cockpit saying we had to leave the plane.

We were escorted off the plane but still not told why. It was only when another passenger made an announcement that we knew. He was able to get some information from friends or from the web, and stood on a chair to tell us what was going on. There was no sign of any Zoom employees.

Eventually the pilot came in and told us that the company was in trouble, then all hell broke loose.

The airport staff were amazing, they provided drinks and sandwiches for us. But there was a mad rush to buy tickets on other airlines.

We decided to head back to our friend's house and look online for a ticket home.

We have to travel via Montreal and eventually arrive at Heathrow on Tuesday morning, which isn't great as our car is parked at Gatwick!

We have missed several days work and will lose money as a result.

I have also just found out that my travel insurance doesn't cover this type of situation, and to make matters worse I paid for the Zoom flights with my debit card and might not get any money back at all.

DANIELLE, STUCK IN HALIFAX, CANADA

I was on the Zoom flight from Halifax (in Canada) to London Gatwick this morning. The flight had already been delayed and then cancelled yesterday evening. We were rescheduled for this morning.

We had boarded the flight and sat for an hour and a half. We were then told we all had to disembark again. The pilot was left to tell all the passengers that there would no longer be a flight and the reasons for this.

The crew had presumably just been told that not only had they lost their jobs, but that they had to find their own way back to the UK.

I was impressed by the composure, professionalism and the helpfulness of the Zoom crew and the airport staff. Meanwhile, I am still in Halifax and have to take three flights tomorrow to get back home.

KATE AND PAUL JOHNSON, STUCK IN CALGARY

We arrived at Calgary airport at 4pm Wednesday but were not allowed to check in for our Glasgow flight due to a 'technical problem'.

Ninety minutes later we were told that the aircraft was 'unserviceable' and that the earliest we could fly out was Saturday 30 August. We were meant to be in work Friday.

We were informed that there would be no compensation or help with accommodation or subsistence.

This morning we learned that the company has gone bankrupt and so at the moment we are still in Canada unsure of when we are going home.

Luckily we are with a travel company who are doing their best to sort us out with a flight home.

GRAHAM TWEED, STUCK IN THE US

I was due to fly tomorrow, so they basically let me know 18 hours before and I guess everybody else as well, so at the moment I've got flights tomorrow morning out of New York on a different airline back into London, so I should still get in on Saturday.

But I was basically just left, that was it - they've just shut the doors and gone.

DAWN BARROW, SURREY

Dawn Barrow's 13-year-old son Charlie had been checked in at Ottawa Airport by relatives only for his flight to London to be cancelled on Wednesday evening.

Chartered surveyor Mrs Barrow, 46, said: Thank goodness for mobile phones because we got a text saying the flight had been cancelled and at that point we had to ask our family to pick him up again.

The airport called police because the passengers were going mad but Charlie was just sitting quietly in the corner with his tennis racket.

He gave three TV interviews and two for radio because he was the youngest passenger there. It's so fortunate he can stay with family.

This holiday was a reward for him getting a sports scholarship to Wellington College in Berkshire. We booked new flights and he's expected back at Heathrow at 6am on Saturday but he'll be very jet-lagged for his first day at his new college on Monday.

CRAIG FORSTER, IN GLASGOW

Edinburgh University student Craig Forster is due to begin a year-long course at university in Calgary in Canada on Monday. He was supposed to catch a flight from Glasgow Airport.

He said: We were initially told the plane was delayed because of technical problems.

After that we heard it was something to do with payment problems.

Some people here are very angry and there seems to be a complete lack of information.

It's quite frustrating knowing that the plane is on the tarmac, but that we can't get on it.

ALISON SMITH, LONDON

Alison Smith said she was now left waiting for a refund from her credit card company.

I had literally booked a flight to Canada for Christmas - yesterday.

Now I have to wait 12 weeks for the credit card company to refund the fare - because that's how long their dispute process takes.

In the meantime, I'm out of pocket for the 1,000 a replacement flight is going to cost, and not so much as an automated e-mail from Zoom. Bad form.

REMO PACITTI, GLASGOW AIRPORT

Remo Pacitti was due to fly to Calgary before going on a cruise to Alaska.

He said: We had to wait an hour-and-a-half to get to the desk and when we got there they said the flight had been delayed 12 hours.

We asked why and they said they didn't know. Even the information desk for Zoom couldn't tell us anything. So we've been left in the dark.

We were looking forward to this holiday for ages. I can't feel any worse than I feel now.




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