My 90-minute flight became a 35-hour ordeal & initially all I got was a £4 food voucher

A WOMAN said she was left “emotionally devastated” after a 90-minute flight turned into a 35-hour ordeal.

Charmaine Smigielski, 70, traveled from Tasmania to Sydney to visit her friend who needed help getting to hospital for cancer treatment.

Charmaine's flight was supposed to take 90 minutes, but she was hampered by delays and cancellations


Charmaine’s flight was supposed to take 90 minutes, but she was hampered by delays and cancellationsCredit: Current Affairs/ 9now

However, things went horribly wrong for her as flight after flight was canceled again and again, forcing her to travel across Australia to reach her destination.

First, Charmaine’s 90-minute flight from Launceston, Tasmania to Sydney was delayed by four hours due to a mechanical problem before passengers were finally allowed to board the plane.

However, an hour later they got off the plane and the flight was cancelled.

For her troubles, Charmaine received an $8 (£4.50) meal voucher as compensation.

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After explaining her situation to a Virgin Australia flight crew member, a friendly fellow passenger overheard and offered Charmaine her seat on another flight to Melbourne, where she could then transfer to a flight to Sydney.

However, this flight was also scrapped, leaving her stranded in Launceston.

Virgin Charmaine booked into a hotel for the night and paid for her taxi fare from the airport, but that wasn’t the end of her troubles.

When she arrived at the hotel, she found that there were no rooms available.

After finally finding a place to stay at the end of the tiring day, Charmaine woke up in yet another travel chaos.

Their flight had been changed again, and their new route was Launceston to Melbourne, Melbourne to Coolangatta, and then Coolangatta to Sydney.

However, after she finally lifted off the ground and made it all the way to Coolangatta, her flight to Sydney was canceled again, this time due to inclement weather.

After Charmaine was rebooked on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney, she had to take a $340 (£192) taxi from Collangatta to make it in time for the next leg of her trip.

After a 35 hour journey, Charmaine finally arrived in Sydney in time to take her boyfriend for his cancer treatment.

She told A Current Affair that she was “devastated” and “disappointed” by her experience.

She said: “I just get makeup all the time. It’s really hard and I’m really tired, I could have been on the other side of the world.

“I felt emotionally devastated. When I got here I felt absolutely devastated. I am so disappointed.

“I really thought her [Virgin Australia] were better than that.”

After hearing her story, Virgin reimbursed Charmaine for all of her flights, taxis, hotels and meals.

A Virgin Australia spokesman told A Current Affair: “The safety of our guests and our staff is a top priority for Virgin Australia.

“Unfortunately, the guest’s Launceston-Sydney flight has been canceled due to technical problems. Subsequent weather events on Wednesday then had a direct impact on the flights we were able to offer to Sydney.

“Virgin Australia works hard to provide our guests with an easy and enjoyable travel experience that they can rely on and we are deeply disappointed that we were unable to deliver this time due to issues beyond our control.

“We have reimbursed all expenses incurred in connection with our guest’s disruption, including taxis, hotels and meals. And in recognition of the unique compassionate circumstances of our guest’s travel purposes, we have reimbursed the cost of the flights as well.”

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Elsewhere, another woman’s 90-minute journey from Sydney to Melbourne was severely delayed.

This pilot showed how to tell if your flight is delayed.

Charmaine had to travel 35 hours across Australia to get to Sydney


Charmaine had to travel 35 hours across Australia to get to SydneyCredit: Current Affairs/ 9now My 90-minute flight became a 35-hour ordeal & initially all I got was a £4 food voucher

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