EXCLUSIVE: Irish teacher furious after being forced to sleep outside airport in ‘wet and cold’ conditions

A FURIOUS granny has slammed a Spanish airport after being forced to sleep outside in ‘freezing and rainy’ conditions.

Mary McIntaggart was forced to spend the night in a bus shelter outside Almeria airport during a thunderstorm last week. 

The Irish teacher was left stunned after being refused access to the terminal overnight as she waited for an early-morning flight to the UK.

The 58-year-old had been forced to get there the night before in order to take her early morning flight to Manchester to see her grandson.

But McIntaggart, a teacher living in Aguilas, was told she could not stay in the lounge to wait for the 10am flight as the airport shut at 11pm. 

McIntaggart, who is now a resident in Spain, was ordered out by airport staff and forced to stand ‘freezing and distraught’ beside a bus stop.

“There were no buses and no taxis so there was no way I could get to a hotel,” she told the Olive Press.

“I ended up having to spend the night sheltering outside from a thunderstorm.”

She continued: “I was completely shocked and distraught when staff told me the airport shut at 11pm but I could sit at the bus stop across the road,” she added.

“There was flooding in Almeria that day and it was freezing.”

A spokesman at Almeria airport told Olive Press: “We are deeply sorry for the extreme situation that Mrs McIntaggart suffered”. 

She added that only six Aena airports are open 24 hours a day. Valencia and Alicante-Elche are two of them.

“Almeria airport in particular is open from 6am to 11pm. Providing a waiting area would mean keeping the airport fully open, and due to the expense and taking into account the number of flights it has it is not an expense we can afford”, she added. 

Left alone at the bus stop, she got creative with a large cardboard box to keep her off the ground and dry.

She said: “I was worried about getting sick before the flight. It was a very tortuous night and I became very upset.” 

She had arrived at the airport via a car sharing service BlaBlaCar and without the app she would have really struggled to arrive.

“I paid BlaBlaCar €8 to get from Aguilas to Almeria which with a taxi would have cost me around €62. I’m disgusted at the poor standard of transport links in this area. It was hard to arrive any other way.”

She added the experience had put her and her family off flying from Almeria airport again. 

“I don’t know how this impacts on their tourism but not everyone drives and this needs to be considered. There isn’t even a train.

“Worst, I am really upset that the authorities there think it is OK to put someone out in that weather to sit outside.

“I am still very shocked that it happened.” 

A spokesman at Almeria airport told Olive Press: “We are deeply sorry for the extreme situation that Mrs McIntaggart suffered”. 

She added that only 6 Aena airports are open 24 hours a day.

“Almeria airport in particular is open from 6am to 11pm. Providing a waiting area would mean keeping the airport fully open, and due to the expense and taking into account the number of flights it has it is not an expense we can afford”, she added. 

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