A Day After B-G's Great Fuel Fiasco,it's Hurry Up and Wait

On Friday, some travelers were still stranded at airport.

The chaos and crowds at Ben-Gurion International Airport after tainted fuel had grounded dozens of flights Thursday had calmed down by Friday. But many passengers still faced delays and cancellations that continued to haunt the notice board.

Sofia, 28, from Hadera, planned to visit her relatives in Sochi, Russia. "Our flight was supposed to take off yesterday at 1 P.M. We sat in the plane for almost an hour and a half, and when we got off, they moved us from gate to gate without anyone explaining what was going on," she said.

Ben-Gurion Airport, jet-fuel crisis, passengers
Gil Cohen-Magen

"At 8 P.M. they told us our flight had been canceled and they would call us. At 5 A.M. we got up and began phoning. Nobody phoned us. We called information and they told us our flight would be at 10 A.M. But when we got there, there was no flight."

Daniel Meier, 34, from Switzerland, spent the last two weeks on vacation in Israel and was supposed to fly home on Thursday. When his 4 P.M. flight was canceled, he spent the night on the floor at the airport.

"I slept pretty well yesterday because I'm a backpacker and I'm used to such conditions. But that was only one night," Meier said, adding that his flight that evening had been canceled, too.

Bruno Brancaleone, from Italy, had been visiting friends in Israel. After his 1 A.M. flight was canceled he called his airline in Italy and was told that a strike was on. "My flight's at midnight. I've been here 24 hours," he said.

Avivit Schein was due to fly to Rome at 6:50 P.M. on Thursday to spend the weekend with her husband. "We waited and waited. They said the flight would take off at 10 P.M., and at 10 P.M. they said it wouldn't. They sent us to make a new reservation, and we stood in line for two and a half hours," she said.

"There was yelling and hysteria. Then they booked us on an Alitalia flight for 3 P.M. today, but when we showed up it turned out that we were on standby, and only half the people got on. I've got a seat on the next plane to Italy. Let's see if it takes off."