Passengers who had been stranded in France as a result of the Eurostar delays made their way back to Birmingham last night by air.
Natasha Cheney and her family from Shipston-on-Stour, in Warwickshire, were forced to pay more than 2,000 euros in order to get aboard an Air France flight home
“We got stuck right in the middle of it,” she said. “We were told that there were no economy seats left on the plane so we had to fly business class.
“We’re really out of pocket. Hopefully the travel insurance should cover it but we don’t know.”
The family were due to come home on Monday night but were unable to catch the train because of the ongoing technical problems with the Eurostar.
And they said matters were made worse by the poor customer service by Eurostar, with virtually no information available from the company.
“They just weren’t interested. There was no communication. Luckily we had internet access at the hotel so we could book a flight. No-one told us whether we should go to the train station or what to do.”
Eurostar warned that normal service is unlikely to resume until “after Christmas” because of chaos surrounding the technical breakdown.
Passengers left stranded for three days during the saga reacted with anger after services were resumed and then passengers were told they were still not guaranteed to get home for Christmas.
Speaking at a press conference to launch an independent inquiry into the disruption, chief executive Richard Brown said: “We will not be fully back to normal until after Christmas because we have a number of trains which have to be repaired and we have modifications to do.
“The good news is that if you turn up at the station we are able to take all the passengers that are turning up to travel.
“We have been pretty successful in clearing the backlog of passengers waiting to travel since both Saturday and Sunday.”
Meanwhile Britain endured more travel misery as snow and ice caused treacherous conditions on many roads across the Thames Valley and Greater Manchester, with Heathrow and Manchester airports cancelling flights.