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Bride's tears as Monarch disrupts island wedding

Sky News logo Sky News 03/10/2017

Gran Canaria © Getty Gran Canaria A group of friends and family due to fly to Gran Canaria for a wedding were among the hundreds of thousands of people who have had their travel plans ruined by the collapse of Monarch.

The party of 29 had already checked in at Gatwick in the early hours of Monday morning before learning that the airline had gone into administration.

They had been planning to travel to the holiday island for the wedding of Donna Smith, 43, and Alan Jee, 42, on Saturday and now face extra expense re-booking more costly flights to try and keep the plans on track.

Mr Jee said he could not afford to pay more having already spent almost £20,000 on the wedding.

He said: "I think it's disgraceful. I don't know how they can treat people like that.

"We've got wedding planners to see, hair and make-up, bits and pieces - we can't get out there to do them.

"It's been an absolute nightmare."

The bride's son Sam Jones, 24, told Sky News his mother and her two teenage daughters had been left in tears after they learned their flight to the Canaries had been cancelled.

Alan Jee at Gatwick Airport after Monarch Airlines collapsed into administration resulting in future bookings and holidays being cancelled © PA Alan Jee at Gatwick Airport after Monarch Airlines collapsed into administration resulting in future bookings and holidays being cancelled Mr Jones, from Bournemouth, said the group had already checked in and were waiting in the departure lounge.

He said: "It was kind of hard to believe.

"At first I thought it must be wrong and then I googled it and saw Sky News had posted something up roughly 20 minutes before we were told that Monarch had gone into administration.

"Then it sort of sunk in and everyone was really upset.

"My mum was in tears trying to find another way to get to Gran Canaria in time for her wedding and obviously something that's affordable for everybody because there's 29 of us in total."

He said the group was looking for somewhere to stay before embarking on alternative flights on Wednesday - with the cost rising from £120 to £200 per person.

Mr Jones said: "Mum's been looking forward to it for about two years. She's been engaged and saving up for it.

"We still don't know what exactly happened and why we were left so late to be told."

Also at Gatwick, Peter Sinclair and his sister-in-law Karen Higgs, from southeast London, had been due to fly to Dubrovnik to meet friends but were told their flights were cancelled.

They were offered alternative indirect routes but could not afford the additional cost.

Mr Sinclair said: "We've lost the holiday now so we're just going to have to go home."

Airport staff speak by empty Monarch Airlines check-in desks after the airline ceased trading at Birmingham Airport, Britain October 2, 2017. © Reuters Airport staff speak by empty Monarch Airlines check-in desks after the airline ceased trading at Birmingham Airport, Britain October 2, 2017. Meanwhile, at Manchester Airport, Denise Parry, 51, from Salford, said she and her partner had been forced to cancel their holiday to Turkey.

They found out about the cancellation while queuing and tried to book alternative flights only to be told there were no places available.

Ms Parry said: "It is so annoying, we have had the holiday booked for 12 months."

In Luton, a Lithuanian couple who had flown to London for their honeymoon and were hoping to fly on to Malaga for the second part of their holiday, said they felt "totally screwed".

Vilius Linkunaitis, 31, and Zivile Rakauskaite, 32, married just days ago.

Mr Linkunaitis said: "We feel very stranded and just lost and I don't know what to do now."

Related: 110,000 Monarch customers to be flown home after airline collapses (provided by Press Association)

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