Typical... Brits lament ‘pushy’ Russians during Sharm el-Sheikh evacuation queue
Tourists stand in line to have their belongings checked by Egyptian security forces in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on November 8, 2015. (AFP/Mohamed el-Shahed)
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Stranded British holidaymakers are furious that the Russians are being airlifted out of Egypt before them.
There were angry scenes at Sharm el-Sheikh airport with confrontations between tourists.
Brit Darrell Peter, 43, said: “The Russians have got their elbows out, forcing themselves to the front of the queue at security.”
And the IT manager from Amersham, Bucks, added: "The Egyptians were getting the Russians out of the queue and letting them go first.”
An EasyJet rep told a group of Brits waiting to go to the airport: “Be prepared for horrendous queues. The Russian flights are holding us up.”
Eric Cook, 63, a catering firm boss who was hoping to leave Sharm last night on an EasyJet flight, said: “The Russians aren’t the best at standing in line at the breakfast buffet and now they’re jumping the queue to fly home.
“The Egyptians are giving them priority because the Russians are the biggest spending nation here.”
A British diplomatic source said: “It is not for us to comment on the Russian arrangements – but we have 60 UK government staff on the ground and are doing all we possibly can.”
Moscow officials admitted that in 24 hours they had flown home 11,000 – out of their 80,000 stranded tourists – while Britain got out only 1945 from Sharm in the same period. Harrowing tales emerged from amid the chaos.
Megan Winton, 25, from Widnes, Cheshire, said: “It’s getting ridiculous. If Russia are getting their tourists home, why can’t we?”
And her boyfriend Roy Summers, 38, from Liverpool, added: “We are hearing about many more Russians getting back. It’s beyond a joke.”
More concerning for hairdresser Ms Winton is that her daughter Mia, two, suffers from asthma and needs a steroid inhaler, which has run out. She said: “I’m really worried.”
The three were due to fly back with EasyJet to Manchester last Thursday. Relatives have been sending money so they can pay the extra £80 a night for the hotel.
The Wintons were set to fly home on Monday.
They are understood to have booked with a separate tour operator, making it difficult to reach easyJet by phone directly.
An easyJet spokeswoman said: “We are trying to prioritise those passengers who have been delayed the longest or those with specific needs.
“We are aware of the Winton family and have been in contact with them. They are booked on a flight from Sharm el Sheikh to the UK.”
She added they were doing “everything possible” to keep passengers informed and were covering all accommodation costs.
Yesterday’s easyJet flights brought 445 passengers back to the UK, meaning 1,249 had so far been brought home since flights resumed on Friday.
Many Brits have also complained about the accommodation.
Lindsey Smith, 30, from Rossendale, Lancs, who is 30 weeks pregnant, was on a two-week holiday in Sharm el-Sheikh when she was delayed and sent to the Continental Plaza Beach Resort with daughter Megan, 10, and husband Robert.
She said: “It really is filthy. There are flies all over the food in the restaurant. Even one of the reps said to me, ‘I wouldn’t eat the food if I were you’. My daughter has bites all over her, we think it’s bed bugs.”
There are flies all over the food in the restaurant and everywhere just looks like it needs a good clean.
"Even one of the reps said to me, because I am pregnant, 'I wouldn’t eat the food if I were you, they are not trained chefs'.
"On Friday night, everyone ordered McDonald’s to be delivered as we thought it would be safer."
She added: “My daughter has got bites all over her, we think they are bed bugs. We just want to go home now.’
Another guest, who was waiting to fly back to Manchester with his wife but did not want to be named, claimed he saw one holidaymaker go to reception carrying a hand full of cockroaches.
He said: "He had scooped them up out of his room and just threw them onto the desk at reception, and said 'what am I supposed to do with these?'
"It really isn’t very nice, I know people won’t have much sympathy as we are stuck in a nice, sunny place but we have been too scared to eat the food. My wife has been surviving on bread and jam."
Continental Beach Plaza Resort assistant manager Mohammed Reba said: "I was there when the British man came to reception with the cockroaches and didn't understand what he was doing.
"I could see he was very unhappy and sent our housekeeping manager to the room to check.
"I'm not calling the British man a liar but housekeeping said the cockroaches were from outside the room and I have no reason to disbelieve them either.
"We moved him to another room and I thought the situation was ok and I can't believe that British people are saying the hotel is dirty.
"The hotel is very clean and we have had no complaints from the many Russian guests who stay here.
"I have no idea why there have been complaints - we gave the British people our best rooms and our best service."
Nine flights left Sharm for the UK yesterday – but there are still an estimated 14,000 Brits in the Red Sea resort. EasyJet had warned its customers they could face a further “three or four-day delay”.
Experts are now almost certain the noise heard in the cockpit recording from aboard the Russian Metrojet flight – which broke up in mid-air and crashed over Sinai nine days ago killing all 224 people on board – was an explosion.
A member of the investigation team said: “The indications and analysis on the black box indicate it was a bomb. We are 90% sure.”
By Andy Lines
Copyright © 2015 Trinity Mirror Group