KATIE Moriarty and her partner Anthony had travelled to Barcelona for a long weekend to celebrate her birthday on August 25, only to find their flight home to Bristol had been cancelled at the last minute.

Mrs Moriarty, from Abergavenny, was 35 weeks pregnant at the time, so the trip was on a limited timescale as per airline EasyJet’s policy which allows women to fly up to the end of their 35th week of pregnancy before it becomes unsafe.

The couple had been aware of the chaos surr  ounding air traffic control but as of 7pm on Monday, August 28, they had not been informed of any problems with their 10.30pm flight, so they headed to Barcelona airport, at which point things started to go wrong.

Mrs Moriarty said: “We were ready to go home to our young children who we’d left with my mother-in-law for three days. We sat in the airport and actually watched our flight disappear from the board with no warning.”

The flight did not update the status to cancelled until after it had disappeared from the board, leaving the couple anxiously attempting to get hold of family at home and EasyJet to find out what they should do.

“There was radio silence from EasyJet the entire time we were in the airport, and we knew we couldn’t keep waiting for a new flight because of my pregnancy,” Mrs Moriarty explained. “We kept trying to contact our families because everyone was really worried and we had no idea how or when we would get home.”

They ended up checking into a nearby hostel for the night after all the hotels were fully booked and unable to take them as they had booked on a package holiday.

After some research, it became apparent that trains or buses would be the only way home.

“By this time, our families were so worried that my stepfather phoned and told us if we could get to Paris, he would pick us up from there,” Mrs Moriarty said.

EasyJet contacted Mrs Moriarty while she was on a coach to Lyon, who informed her they had found her an alternative flight for Monday September 4, despite the fact she would be too pregnant to travel by then.

“Normally, there’s three to four flights to Barcelona a day, so we thought our flight would be the next day at the latest, not a week. I couldn’t be away from my young children longer than the three days we’d planned,” she said.

Her stepfather met them in Paris, having driven from Calais and taken a ferry from Dover, after driving from Newport.

Mrs Moriarty has branded the whole situation as “horrendous” with them now being £900 out of pocket after funding their alternative travel.

EasyJet have told the couple that they would issue a refund within 28 days, but she said that is not good enough as they still needed to return home before then.

“All we want is a refund for our cancelled flight and to be reimbursed for the extra travel costs,” Mrs Moriarty said. “EasyJet said they would call me back on the Friday but have ignored our calls and emails since we told them we were already back in the UK.

“We’d been on a coach for over 16 hours, so I was very uncomfortable and the stress this was causing was unbearable.”

EasyJet have not yet responded to a request for comment.