Charities praised after passengers left “abandoned” at Glasgow Airport

Red Cross

Third sector rallies to aid stricken passengers 

1st March 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Stranded passengers have slammed Glasgow Airport bosses for abandoning them after its runway was closed due to sub-zero blizzards.

Some 500 passengers were left stranded, 200 of whom forced to spend the night in the terminal buildings as charities including the Red Cross came to their aid.

Volunteers faced blizzard conditions as they took sleeping bags, mats and blankets to the airport in specially equipped 4x4 vehicles.

More than 100 camp beds were supplied by the Hillington-based Red Cross while other local community groups provided blankets as well as transport for the elderly and infirm.

Hundreds remain in the airport as the Siberian blast continues to wreak havoc with services across the country.

David Prentice, who is flying to Singapore via Dubai with his wife and six year-old daughter, said they had been “abandoned” by airport staff.

“If it wasn’t for the Red Cross we’d be freezing and have nowhere to sleep,” he said. “Others haven’t been so lucky – Terminal 3 seems to be without beds and many passengers slept overnight with no blankets.”

Another passenger, Marilyn Hutchence, said on Twitter: “Glasgow Airport has desserted us. Now charities have been brought in. Shambles. Diabolical.”

Aircraft began to be diverted yesterday morning after the runway became unusable. Emergency teams managed to clear it briefly around 1pm for the twice-daily Emirates flight inbound from Dubai to land with 300 passengers onboard.

It had to circle the airport nine times running dangerously low on fuel.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Airport said: “Following heavy snow showers overnight and with a red alert still in place we will be extending the closure of the airport until 3pm on Thursday.

“Further snow is forecast during the day which will make travel conditions to and from the airport extremely challenging. This decision has been taken with the safety of passengers and staff in mind.”

Elsewhere British Red Cross volunteers have been working tirelessly to help hospital staff get to work as well as supporting vulnerable people who are cut off by the snow.

In Northern Scotland, power companies put the Red Cross on standby to carry out checks on vulnerable customers in the event of power cuts caused by the snow.

Later last night, in Tayside, two volunteers in a 4x4 vehicle were due to take key nursing staff to and from hospitals in the Perth and Kinross area.

Red Cross senior emergency response officer Nick Mort said: “This is the first time Scotland has had a Red Warning for snow so we’ve geared up to meet whatever challenges arise.

“The Red Cross has vast experience of responding to all sorts of emergencies and our highly trained volunteers staff and shave the skills to help people who need it.

“At the moment our teams throughout Scotland are on standby but their equipment and vehicles have all been prepared, ready to go wherever they are needed.”