'Not a good start to Christmas': Virgin Airlines cancellations spark airport chaos

Passengers have been stranded at Brisbane Airport overnight after a number of Virgin Australia flights were significantly delayed.

Customers have taken to social media to slam the airline, saying they weren’t updated about gate changes and reasons for the delays.

Virgin claims the severe storms in Sydney overnight meant a number of flights were diverted and aircrafts and crew were not at the correct locations for their next flights.

The airline said storms affected flights because they had to divert around storm activity to avoid major impacts of lightning strikes and significant turbulence. All Australian airports are affected.

Chris McCann told Yahoo News he was stranded in Brisbane, along with parents and children, and Virgin was refusing to pay for transport and accommodation.

Virgin passengers queue at Brisbane Airport amid major flight delays. Source: Chris McCann/supplied
Virgin passengers queue at Brisbane Airport amid major flight delays. Source: Chris McCann/supplied

“They have messed us around and lied to us about what was happening for six hours,” Mr McCann said on Thursday night.

“Then finally at 11.30pm made the announcement that the flight has been delayed again until 7am (Friday).

“I find it unacceptable that Virgin show zero sympathy for their customers, especially those with young children. A couple I was standing next to had driven down from Mackay with their children and have no where to stay now with their three-year-old son until the flight leaves in the morning.”

Despite the flight being rescheduled for 7am, it was delayed again until 10.30am.

A woman said her parents were stuck at Brisbane airport since 5am this morning.

Their flight was rescheduled for 7am before they were told it would not depart until 2pm.

“Not a good start for their Christmas Holiday,” she said.

More delays at Gold Coast and Sydney airports

Passengers leaving from Gold Coast airport also copped delays, with one woman’s 11.30pm flight on Thursday night from the Gold Coast to Perth being rescheduled for 7am.

Her mother slammed Virgin for its “unprofessional” service.

“You left her dog on the tarmac for four hours, no staff assistance, no rebooking for flights. Sent her home again, I spoke to someone on the phone at 1am Perth time to get her on a new flight for two hours,” she said.

“Your agent booked her on a flight to Sydney then onto Perth. She gets there with her dog at 6am this morning to find there’s no booking for her to fly and the flights you supposedly booked her on didn’t exist.

“This is not the way to treat your customers so close to Christmas.”

Others complained of two-hour long queues to bag drop at Sydney Airport and some were worried it would cause them to miss their flights.

Virgin Australia said flights could also be affected out of Sydney today and tomorrow and passengers should arrive at least 2.5 hours before the flight.

People are urged to check their Virgin flights prior to scheduled departure.