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British expat Mary McIntaggart, 58, was forced to sleep in a bus stop outside an airport in the south of Spain during a thunderstorm. The grandmother who lives in Aguilas was set to fly home to the UK to visit family, but was refused entry into the airport lounge after the airport itself was shut at 11pm and staff turned her away.
Mary, who is originally from Ireland but now a resident in Spain, was denied entry by airport staff.
With poor transport links meaning she was unable to go home or find alternative accommodation for the night, she was forced to stand “freezing and distraught” outside the airport.
Flash flooding and rainstorms then began, and Mary found some shelter in a bus stop.
“I was completely shocked when staff told me the airport shut at 11pm,” Mary explained.
“My flight was not until 10am the next day but they said I could sit at the bus stop across the road.
“There was flooding in Almeria that day. It was freezing and I was distraught.”
Mary was alone at the bus stop, and she said there was no way to get to a hotel as both taxis and bus links had stopped for the night.
Realising she was going to have to spend the night outside, she used a cardboard box to keep her dry off the ground when sleeping.
“I was worried about getting sick before the flight,” the grandmother revealed.
“It was very cold and raining. I became very upset.”
The incident happened on Friday 22 October but Mary has said the experience has put her and her family off flying from Almeria for good.
“I am really upset they think it is okay to put someone out in that weather to sit outside and also the paucity of provision for transport,” she remarked.
“I am still very shocked that it happened. Not a positive look for Almeria or Spanish tourism.”
Earlier that day, Mary, who works as a support teacher in Aguilas, travelled to Almeria airport via a car sharing service for £8.
But without this service, she wouldn’t be able to get a flight from Aguilas because a “taxi would have cost me around €62”.
Mary said she is “disgusted” at the “poor” services for the area.
She highlighted the fact not everyone has a car and can drive and “this needs to be considered” by the airport.
She also pointed out “there isn’t even a train” nearby that can be used as an alternative mode of transport.
In terms of how Mary’s family has reacted, she told Olive Press: “[They] are quite outraged and shocked it happened.
“It has put my daughter off visiting me from Manchester as she says there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to get to me, especially as she has a child.”
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