Airports shut down leaving holidaymakers stranded

Hundreds of travellers in the Whitsunday Islands had their return trips thrown into chaos and scores have been left stranded due to poor weather.

Dozens of Jetstar and Virgin flights have been cancelled over the last three days as thunderstorms and poor visibility wreaked havoc with flight schedules.

Jetstar spokesman Stephen Moynihan said up to 100 travellers had been stranded by the cancellations.

But the airline has put them up in hotels and arranged for others to catch flights out of Mackay airport, he said.

He said Jetstar hoped to fly everyone home by Tuesday once the weather had eased.

The forecast for the Whitsundays is more heavy rain tomorrow, easing to possible showers on Monday.

Melbourne mother Jayne D'Arcy was left in limbo for six hours with her eight-week-old daughter and seven-year-old son at the Hamilton Island airport after her scheduled flight was cancelled yesterday.

They were ferried back to Airlie Beach on the mainland and put up in accommodation.

"The resort we've been sent to is full of people unable to get onto their flights," she said.


"There are families who have ended up hiring cars at their own expense to drive to Townsville, which is a four-hour drive away.

"It’s just been terrible, the last few days."

After a "very difficult" two hours on the phone to Jetstar's call centre, the family was told they would be flown out on Tuesday night.

The delay means her son will miss the beginning of the new school term on Monday.

"All we want is for them to just get us home," she said.