What should have been relaxing break in the sun turned into a ‘complete nightmare’ when Lee Airstone found himself stuck in the Egyptian resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh.
Now back home in Skegness, Lee was forced to extend his stay after a Russian jet crashed shortly after leaving the resort in a what has been confirmed as a bomb attack.
Lee claims to have noticed lax security at Sharm airport where he arrived to stay at the 5 star Royal Albatros Moderna Hotel.
What had been idyllic getaway became mired in frustration when flights from Sharm back to the UK were suspended following the plane crash on October 31.
Lee, a support worker for people with alcohol problems, could not afford the extra £600 to extend his stay at the hotel for another four nights and became embroiled in a dispute with his airline over alternative accommodation.
He said: “We were not kept informed by the airline or tour operator what was happening and had to rely on friends and family back in the UK for information and also Facebook.
“After paying for our transfers back in the UK to take us to the airport we booked a time slot with the travel rep the morning of our original flight. We waited for the transport to arrive but it failed to show up. We had to make our own way to the airport, which was quite scary considering the roads were blocked by the police and military.”
Arriving at the airport, Lee was told he would not be flying home and had a heated four hour argument with a travel rep after refusing to stay in the hotel offered to him.
He explained: “Our airline wanted to put us in a hotel where our friends had stayed for the night and which they described as a slum. After receiving a text message from the airline we were informed if we stayed at a hotel recommended by them we would be kept informed of flights, if we chose another hotel of our choice, and at a cost to ourselves, we would not.”
Following the stand off, Lee was eventually given a room in the Hilton Hotel at Sharks Bay while his flight home was re-scheduled.
He also spent £176 in calls to his travel insurance provider - the policy covered terrorism, but Lee was told that the situation was being treated as an act of God.
“Although it may sound great being stranded in the sun, it’s the not knowing when we will get home,” added Lee. “We also had commitments at home which we needed to get back to.
“The whole situation has completely spoilt our holiday from the beginning, there has been no other topic of conversation by everyone at the hotels other than what is happening and how we are. The whole situation has been a complete nightmare.”