None of the passengers heading for Valencia from London Stansted had heard of the strike until they were on the aircraft, when they were told take-off could be delayed by up to half a day.
Airlines were instructed to board all travellers as normal, since notice of a take-off slot could come up at a second’s notice and they would have to leave immediately to avoid losing it and waiting several hours more.
This led to disgruntled passengers stuck in their seats waiting for the off, many with no way of contacting their friends and family members to tell them they could be very late.
Pilots and crew commented that they were in for ‘a long day’, since flights all over western Europe were likely to be delayed.
Those left waiting in Stansted secretly hoped they would be delayed long enough to be ‘forced’ into staying overnight in Valencia, saying they loved the city and the weather was better than in the UK.
Delays across Spanish airports or for flights heading for them could continue for the rest of this week, warned the crew, since the knock-on effect of the last 10 French air-traffic controller strikes so far this year has led to take-off and landing slots put back several days after the workers were back on full duty.
Even thought long delays are expected, anyone flying today should head for the airport at the usual time as they may be required to board and wait.
Rail strikes throughout Spain may cause further hold-ups for those relying on public transport to get to and from airports in the country.