Northern Ireland

‘I literally cried’ - Passengers recount their terrifying experiences flying through Storm Isha

British airways plan with an inset of BBC presenter Holly Hamilton
Holly Hamilton described the flight she was on as 'terrifying'

Passengers flying through Storm Isha have recounted their terrifying experiences, with one flight diverted to Manchester after a failed attempted landing in Belfast City Airport.

Air traffic control restrictions were in place as the storm rampaged across the UK and Ireland, leading to flight cancellations and causing many planes to divert to another airport.

Jennifer Opal was on a flight from Heathrow to Belfast City Airport last night. She posted on X: “We got above the city and the captain couldn’t land the plane.The winds are scary, I literally cried.”

Her plane was diverted to Manchester.

She added: “I’m just thankful to be on the ground.”

BBC reporter Holly Hamilton was on the same flight. She told her followers about the “pretty terrifying attempt” to land in Belfast.

She posted: “Scary biscuits above Belfast. I’ve never been as happy to see @manairport #StormIsha”.

She later added: “Due to the volume of passengers in the same boat (or plane) they can’t help anyone with accommodation or alternative flights. Every man & woman for themselves.”

Jodie Buchanan was on a flight that did land in Belfast. She wrote on X: “I was on one of the flights that did eventually manage to get landed in Belfast this evening. It was the scariest flight.”

On Sunday evening, a flight travelling from Sharm el Sheikh to Glasgow Airport declared an emergency due to Storm Isha.

A spokesman for Glasgow Airport said the Tui flight was “diverted to Manchester due to current weather conditions”.

Ryanair flights to Dublin from Manchester and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands were also diverted to the French cities of Paris and Bordeaux respectively.

Dublin Airport said winds had eased and the first wave of flights today continued “without restrictions”, but because of delays caused by Storm Isha, 29 flights in and out of Dublin had been cancelled today.

A flight from Manchester to Dublin stopped in Paris before eventually successfully trying Dublin again.

Declan Cassidy charted his adventure on TikTok.


The moment the pilot tells us that after storm made us abort Dublin landing and divert to Paris, we’re flying back to try again! #irish #storms #divertedflight #Paris #tryagain

♬ original sound - Declan Cassidy


The storm has also damaged and felled a number of trees in Northern Ireland made famous by series Game of Thrones.

Work is ongoing to clear the site at the Dark Hedges in Co Antrim.

The tunnel of trees became famous when it was featured in the HBO fantasy series and now attracts significant numbers of tourists from around the world.Mervyn Storey, chairman of the Dark Hedges Preservation Trust, said: “It looks like there are three trees down.

“We have had people out since dawn trying to clear the road. There are a number of other trees down in the area as well.

“This is another blow to the Dark Hedges.

“In fact one of the trees that was healthy has been blown down. It is very sad.”