Two women stranded in Sharm el-Sheikh have revealed they knew four of the people on board the fatal Russian flight which crashed last week.
Lifelong friends Caroline Tyler, 42, and Katrina Amin, 44, were due to return from their holiday in the Egyptian resort earlier this week - but now they are stranded, along with thousands of other Britons.
Caroline said: “Four of the people who were on the Russian flight stayed in the same hotel as us. We didn’t know them well, but we used to see them at the entertainment in the evenings.
“It’s such an awful thing to happen and nobody wants that to happen to them, so it’s better to be safe here.
“We completely understand and agree with the decision that has been made to stop flights, if there is any risk at all then that risk should be cut. We will wait to come home.”
The Russian Metrojet Airbus A321 aircraft was flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg on October 31 when it crashed in the Sinai desert, killing all 224 people on board.
UK flights were halted on Wednesday amid fears that the crash was caused by a bomb.
The pair, who have been holidaying together for 16 years, were due to return from their fortnight in the sun to their home in Keadby on Friday November 6.
“We were due to fly home at 6pm our time, so 4pm UK time. We received a text from Thomson at 3.14pm to say the flight was going and asking us to come to the airport,” said Caroline.
“When we got there at 4.10pm they told us the flight was cancelled, they didn’t give us a reason why.
“We haven’t heard anything from them today and we have no idea when we are coming home. All we can say is we’ll be home as soon as we can.
“We can think of worse places to be, but 15 days is quite enough and we’d like to come home now.
“We are okay, but there are some people here who are struggling with being struck - families who had left their babies at home because they thought they were only coming away for a week.”
She added that she was disappointed with the service Thomson had provided.
“Communication has been really bad,” she said. “It’s been mostly us texting them and then they have come back in a couple of hours.
“They haven’t said anything about reimbursing us financially, but I hope they do as I hear other companies are so if they can I don’t see why Thomson can’t.
“They told us at the airport if we waited they would find accommodation for us, but we knew people from our hotel, the Jolie Ville Royal Peninsula Hotel and Resort, who had been to stay in accommodation they provided and came back because it was disgusting.
“We are lucky that we can afford to pay for the extra nights, some people don’t have that choice.”
No comment was available from Thomson.