A fire at Luton Airport has caused a number of flights to be grounded in the UK today and airlines easyJet and Wizz Air have updated passengers with what to expect from the Luton car park fire chaos. easyJet states that it is "currently unable to operate as planned" due to the airport fire but promises refunds and additional help to travellers.
Last night, a huge fire raged its way across the London airport’s car park forcing a number of flights to be suspended as the multi-storey building collapsed. The airport advised people not to travel to the airport as all flights would be suspected until at least 3pm.
Passengers were told to contact their airline for updates. The videos of the fire posted on social media show large, bright orange flames burning through cars in the parking structure paint a terrifying picture of the chaos that unfolded as loud explosions and car alarms were heard.
READ MORE: How to get a refund when your flights are delayed or cancelled – your rights
READ MORE: Inferno at Luton Airport consumes car park as flights suspended until 3pm
Now, easyJet has released a statement this morning for Brits flying with the budget airline. It said: "Due to the ongoing closure of Luton airport our flights from Luton are currently unable to operate as planned. We are doing all possible to minimise the impact on our customers, providing those on cancelled flights with options to rebook or receive a refund, as well as providing hotel accommodation and meals where required.
"We advise all passengers due to fly with us from Luton to check the status of their flights on Flight Tracker at easyjet.com/en/flight-tracker for real-time information. The safety and wellbeing of customers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority and we would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused."
Wizz Air told Daily Star: "Due to the unexpected fire at London Luton Airport multi-story car park, all flights are suspended until the afternoon of 11th October. All affected passengers who booked directly through Wizz Air will be contacted and provided updates via email and SMS. Customers who booked through a third-party should contact them for further information. Though the situation is beyond our control, Wizz Air apologises for any inconvenience caused and is doing everything in its power to minimise disruption."
Firefighters tackled the blaze which appears to have destroyed hundreds of cars. Flights have been cancelled since the fire broke out at around 9pm.
More than 15 crews from Bedfordshire Fire Service tackled the fire with local residents advised to close their windows to avoid the heavy smoke. A brigade spokesman told the Mirror: "One half of the structure is fully involved in fire and the building has suffered a significant structural collapse.
"Fire crews are working to extinguish the fire and prevent it from spreading to adjacent buildings and vehicles on air side of the airport." In an update at 8.45am, the fire service confirmed the blaze had been extinguished however services are not yet back to normal.
Andrew Hopkinson, chief fire officer, noted: "We have no intelligence at this stage to suggest that this was anything other than an accidental fire that started in one of the vehicles that had not long arrived at the airport. It was not an EV. This was a diesel powered vehicle."
Anyone who plans to fly out from Luton today should contact their airline and stay updated on the latest information. You should prepare to make alternative plans in case the airport is not cleared to resume service.
At 7.10am, Luton Airport said: "Emergency services remain on the scene following last night's fire in Terminal Car Park 2.
"Our priority remains supporting the emergency services and the safety of our passengers and staff. Therefore, we have now taken the decision to suspend all flights until 3pm on Wednesday 11th October. Passengers are advised not to travel to the airport at this time, as access remains severely restricted."
Your rights if a holiday is cancelled
When a travel company cancels your holiday, you're entitled to a full refund. You may be offered alternatives like rebooking or vouchers – you're free to choose these instead, but you can have the refund if that's your preferred option.
The CMA says you're entitled to a refund within 14 days of the cancellation date. It adds: "Your refund should be provided irrespective of whether the company you booked with has received funds from other companies involved in your trip, such as airlines."
If your flight is cancelled but not your trip, ABTA says: "If your flight is cancelled and you’ve booked a package holiday, you are entitled to a suitable alternative flight or, if that’s not possible, a full refund." You can find out more at abta.com and gov.uk.
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