Group forced to buy bikes to return from Amsterdam after easyJet flight canceled

A group of friends having a bachelor party found themselves stranded in Amsterdam after their flight home was cancelled. So they set out on an epic 230-mile trek back to the UK on bikes they were forced to buy from the locals.

The Britons had spent two days in the Dutch capital and were booked on an easyJet flight to return to London Gatwick at 1.25pm ​​on Saturday June 4.

The flight was abandoned and their options for returning to Britain by air or rail were limited. So the group of 14 decided the best route was to take a train to Calais and board a ferry.

However, when they called to inquire about the crossing to Dover, they were told that foot passengers were not permitted, although bicycles were.

Undeterred, the group spent the afternoon buying bikes from locals in Brussels and Lille by visiting stores and looking on Facebook.

Thirteen out of 14 managed to buy a bike in just three hours, at a total cost of over £1,300.

And, having arrived in Calais, the last member of the group convinced a young couple to let him get into their car for the crossing.

This means the 14 arrived safely in Dover just 12 hours after their flight was cancelled.

Groom-to-be Alex Sisan, 29, said: “We had the craziest day but just wanted to get home – we ended up spending €1,540 (£1,300) on bikes.

“At the time, it didn’t seem like fun, but I had two of the best days of my life with 13 best friends and that just topped it off.

“Looking back, the experience was so stressful and felt like something out of a movie or a Top of the line challenge.

“But it was so much fun and a brilliant story that I will tell at the wedding, and hopefully my children, and then their children.”

The bachelor party team and their motley assortment of two-wheeled vehicles

(Alex Sisan/SWNS)

The group arrived in Amsterdam on June 2 and stayed at a downtown hotel.

They were then booked on an easyJet flight to return from Schiphol Airport two days later and arrived five hours early to avoid queues.

But, after waiting in line for hours for security, they were dismayed to learn that their flight had been cancelled.

After trying to contact easyJet for help they decided simply leaving the airport was the best option.

Unsuccessful attempts to hire a car and obtain Eurostar tickets ensued, before it was suggested that a ferry to Dover would be viable.

The group then boarded a train for Calais, which passed through Brussels and Lille.

But, as they traveled, they discovered that safety rules prevented pedestrians from using the only service they could provide that day.

It was then that a member offered to try to buy 14 bikes during stopovers in European cities.

Some managed to buy bikes in Brussels, while the others did good business in Lille.

Mr Sisan, who is getting married next month, said: “We had to spend two hours running around Lille to get bikes.

“We had booked a crossing from Calais to Dover but needed bikes to get on – no foot passengers allowed.

“I was on Facebook Marketplace for two hours, with the pin location set to Lille, trying to arrange to buy some of these bikes. They ranged from €40 to €220.

Alex Sisan and his 13 friends ended up paying around £340 each for extra transport

(Alex Sisan/SWNS)

Thirteen members of the group managed to find bicycles, in particular by bartering with locals in flea markets.

But, back at Lille station, they run into another snag.

The only service that would get them to Calais on time would only take folding bikes, no exceptions.

This meant that the group had to hail taxis to take them to the port at a cost of €350 per car.

Arriving in Calais less than an hour early, the group boarded the ferry with the help of a charity couple who let the 14th member without a bike into their car.

They then landed in Dover around 11:30 p.m.

Mr Sisan, from Worthing, West Sussex, said: ‘Overall we all had to spend at least £400 each and then had to take lifts from Dover. But it ended up being the best weekend of my life.

Thousands of Britons are still stranded in Europe in continued travel chaos due to various issues, such as staff and weather.

An easyJet spokesperson said: ‘We are very sorry that the group’s flight from Amsterdam to London Gatwick has been cancelled.

“We have informed customers directly of their options to book or receive a refund and are providing hotel accommodation and meals if required.

“Our customer service opening hours and hotel accommodation supply have been extended to support affected customers and help them get to their destination as quickly as possible.

“Nevertheless, we fully understand the disruption this will have caused to their plans and we are truly sorry.

“Our team is contacting the band to discuss their options and reimburse them for all reasonable expenses.”


Maria R. Newman