Planes bound for Luton were redirected to Liverpool, Doncaster and even France!

Luton’s Navigation Aid Fails

On Sunday morning, a power outage at Luton Airport caused flights to be diverted to alternative destinations, affecting thousands of passengers. The electrical failure temporarily disabled the hub’s navigational systems, which are used for helping aircraft land. Consequently, inbound flights were redirected to regional airports such as Liverpool, Doncaster, and East Midlands.

Wizz Air flight redirected from Luton
The path of the Wizz Air flight that was redirected to northern France | © Flightradar24 screenshot from the Independent

The disruptions lasted approximately three hours, with no planes able to land between 7 am and 10 am. The majority of these aircraft were Wizz Air flights coming from eastern European airports. An easyJet arrival coming from Belfast was also affected, rerouted to London Gatwick instead, with its return flight cancelled. After circling Luton several times, one unfortunate Wizz Air flight was eventually redirected to Beauvais in northern France.

Passengers affected

Passengers were understandably upset by the diversions. A woman flying to Luton from Kawotice in Poland was redirected to East Midlands Airport, some 140km from London. Frustrated, she tweeted:

“Waiting on coaches since 9 am! With 14 mo [month-old] boy with limited nappies, no idea when we get to Luton.”

Luton Airport told passengers: “An earlier power failure in the area has resulted in the temporary loss of some navigational aids, meaning some disruption to flights. Engineers are working hard to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”

Aircraft were able to land again by 10:05 am in the morning, the first of which being a Ryanair flight from Dublin. The Bedfordshire airport warned passengers that delays were still likely: “Engineers have now resolved the issue caused by the earlier power outage and normal operations have resumed. Some knock-on disruption is likely. Passengers should speak to their airlines for the status of their flight. We’re very sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

Have you been affected by the power outage at Luton? Let us know in the comments below!

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