Salisbury JournalVouchers for axed Christmas flights (From Salisbury Journal)

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Vouchers for axed Christmas flights

Salisbury Journal: Passengers affected by delays at Gatwick Airport on Christmas Eve are to be offered high-street shopping vouchers as a 'gesture of goodwill' Passengers affected by delays at Gatwick Airport on Christmas Eve are to be offered high-street shopping vouchers as a 'gesture of goodwill'

Passengers whose flights were cancelled amid chaotic scenes at Gatwick airport on Christmas Eve are to be offered £100 vouchers "as a gesture of goodwill".

The disruption at the West Sussex airport is already being looked into by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Today, Gatwick said it had set up its own inquiry, with a report due in February.

Local flooding led to power outages at Gatwick which resulted in a number of flight cancellations and long delays for departing travellers.

Some passengers were at Gatwick for as long as 12 hours, only to be sent home after learning their flight had been axed.

Today Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said: "We appreciate that lots of our passengers were travelling to be with their families over the festive period and we are sorry that flights were cancelled and passengers left disappointed, particularly at this time of the year.

"With this in mind, London Gatwick will be offering £100 of high street vouchers to each passenger whose flight was cancelled on Christmas Eve as a gesture of goodwill in recognition of the exceptionally difficult circumstances."

Gatwick said passengers whose flights were cancelled should email customer.services@gatwickairport.com with evidence of their booking on a flight due to depart from or arrive at Gatwick Airport on December 24 and with their postal address.

Subject to verifying details, a voucher for £100 will be posted to passengers within 28 days of the application for payment.

Gatwick's own "full review" of the Christmas Eve problems will be headed by David McMillan, former director general of air traffic management company Eurocontrol and a non-executive director of Gatwick Airport.

Gatwick said today that "extraordinarily adverse weather across the region" including exceptionally heavy rain caused all local waterways around the airport to flood.

It added that the flood waters "significantly exceeded flood impact projections" and resulted in damage to electrical substations and switch rooms which caused the partial loss of power to the North Terminal.

Gatwick went on: "Since then, all efforts have been focused on restoring the North Terminal to its full operation. A full schedule of flights operated on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and every day since.

"Since change of ownership (in 2009) Gatwick has invested significantly in improving the airport, spending £1 billion in the last four years. We have invested over £12 million on improving the flood defences.

"Gatwick has made a £4 million investment in the Environment Agency's Upper (River) Mole Flood Alleviation Scheme and is currently building an additional on-site flood resilience scheme costing over £8 million.

"Since (last) Tuesday a number of short-term measures have been put in place to reduce the risk of such incidents happening again."

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