Tens of thousands of outgoing and inbound tourist hit by huge delaysNo light, no food and drink, no shops, no information, lengthy delays and no toilet cleaning services are what thousands of British tourists were forced to endure for six hours yesterday at Palma's recently built Son San Joan aiport. At exactly 6.15am the power supply to the airport's essential services apart from the air traffic control tower went down. Check-in desks were closed and left abandoned by staff, flight information screens blinked to a blank, bars and restaurants shut up shop and Guardia Civil security systems packed up with the airport authority forced to suspend all flight arrivals and allow only those flights whose passengers could carry their luggage to the departure gates allowed to take off. At 12.15 emergency power supplies came back on and were shortly followed by airport services slowly returning to normal. But, while airport staff rushed to restore full operations, tens of thousands of gloomy, angry and frustrated tourists faced further lengthy delays. One flight bound for the UK which was due to take off just moments after the power went down was looking at a further three to four hour delay, said sources for one of the UK's leading tour operators, whose clients finally took off after a delay of at least ten hours. With flight arrivals having been halted tens of thousands of tourists were left stranded at UK and other European airports as they holidays got off to a nightmare start. With power supplies back to normal and Palma airport battling to clear the backlog of flights, Britannia Airways spokesperson Fiona Francois said in London yesterday afternoon most of out flights are now carrying a two-hour delay. One from Manchester should have left at 8.20 am and should leave at 1.14pm and another from Birmingham was delayed by three hours. Scenes in and around Palma airport, which this weekend will be handling 100'000 passengers and over 750 flights, were chaotic. Thousands of passengers, laden down with their luggage were strung out across the terminal and tour operators were unable to provide any clear information as, according to one British travel representative, the airport was providing little or no information. When the power finally came back on, there was an announcement over the tannoy in Spanish just apologising for any inconvenience.
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