Mark Mullen was born in Manchester before moving to Guernsey, and alongside his son Dane has been a lifelong Manchester City fan. Nothing was stopping them from watching their team play – and beat – city rivals Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley. Nothing, that was, except technical trouble with the aircraft.
‘We had a whole day planned out, including a coach booked with 20 other City supporters from Guernsey,’ said Dane.
‘For my dad it was always a childhood dream to watch his team in a Manchester derby FA Cup final.’
They were booked on the first flight out to Gatwick on Saturday morning, but heard about technical difficulties with the Aurigny jet on Friday evening through social media, leaving them scrambling to find a plan B – but they were told that there were no alternative flight options.
The jet had been out of action from lunchtime on Friday, and stayed out of service across the weekend.
Mr Mullen said he thought the airline could have done better in the situation.
‘I thought Aurigny were poor, we asked if we could try alternatives like flying to Bristol but they told us there was no room. I then heard later that some City fans had managed to get on those flights, so it was a little bit frustrating,’ he said.
Mr Mullen spent his day playing cricket instead.
‘It didn’t feel like we won an FA Cup final. I should have been over the moon but it just left me with a sour taste.’
The airline cancelled six flights on Sunday, including to Gatwick, Southampton and Bristol services, but was back in action yesterday.
‘The jet is back in normal service after its weekend repair. We apologise for the weekend disruption caused by the technical issue,’ said an Aurigny spokesman.
‘We arranged two additional flights yesterday to enable the final passengers affected to reach their destinations, but only one was needed.
‘We have contingency plans in place but there are times, such as the busy weekend, when the disruption is unavoidably significant.’