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EasyJet cancelled our flight from Tenerife, forcing us to take a 3,541-mile detour to Liverpool via Iceland

A British family that has been stranded in Tenerife for two days after their easyJet flight was cancelled has made the desperate decision to travel an extra 21 hours, catching a plane via Iceland to get home.

David Tubey, from Liverpool, said he has paid an extra £3,008 for flights for himself, his wife and his three children as part of a 3,541-mile detour following the UK air traffic chaos, saying: “It was the only one available.”

After easyJet offered the Tubeys a flight home on 6 September – to Edinburgh, not Liverpool – they decided to make their own plans in order to get home for work and school by the end of the week.

The family will catch a 5.5 hour flight from Tenerife to Iceland, arriving on Thursday evening for a 12-hour layover, before catch a 2 hour and 40 minute flight from Iceland to Manchester, and then taking a 40-minute taxi home to Liverpool.

The Tubey family’s 21-hour detour to get home to Liverpool via Iceland (Image: inews/Brett Dietrich)

Mr Tubey, 47, had booked a flight home on Monday so his family could have a few days to settle in before they returned to work and school.

Two days on and they are still stranded in Tenerife, where they had spent an idyllic week-long holiday before the “total mess” they experienced on Monday, when their flight was cancelled due to an air traffic control failure, which led to a spate of cancellations and delays.

The project manager accused easyJet of “shocking” treatment towards their passengers and of failing to have a “duty of care”.

“We didn’t know how to get home yesterday,” Mr Tubey told i as he explained his desperate decision to go via Iceland to get back to the UK.

“There were no flights available so at least, all being well, we’re going to get out.

Mr Tubey, pictured with his son’s best friend, is stuck in Tenerife because of the travel chaos (Photo: David Tubey)

“It’s going to take quite a long way round to get home but at least we’ll be home on Friday.”

While disruption continues as a result of the air traffic control fault, the first easyJet repatriation flights returning passengers to the UK will set off for London Gatwick.

The failure was caused by flight data received by National Air Traffic Services (Nats) – with both primary and back-up systems responding by suspending automatic processing.

Nats chief executive Martin Rolfe gave the explanation in a statement on Tuesday and made clear there are “no indications” the glitch was caused by a cyber-attack.

He added: “I spoke to them yesterday and they said they’d get back in touch but we’ve just had no correspondence.”

While Mr Tubley said he appreciated easyJet had no control over the issue, he claims there still “has not been a word” of reassurance or assistance since their flight was cancelled.

That while they have also been footing the bill for a hotel for the nights stranded in Tenerife.

“There’s no, ‘are you guys okay’?” he said.

After previously telling i that easyJet had been “absolutely helpless” when it came to helping them and fellow passengers affected by the flight cancellation, he said the family “basically had to do everything ourselves” to find a way home.

An easyJet holidays spokesperson on Tuesday told i: “We’re really sorry to hear that the Tubey family’s flight home has been cancelled as a result of the air traffic control systems failure, which has been causing significant disruption to flying programmes for all airlines across the UK.

“We’re working round the clock to support our customers, and continuously looking for the most suitable alternative flights home to book them onto, as soon as they become available. We’re currently proactively contacting all customers in destination to inform them of their options.

“Once again, whilst the situation is entirely out of our control, we understand the situation is frustrating, and we’re really sorry the Tubey family has been impacted.”

i has contacted easyJet for further comment.

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