A group of Rhinos supporters were facing an unexpected extra night in Perpignan after their return to Leeds Bradford Airport was delayed by more than a day.
The Ryanair flight, originally due into Yeadon at 11.35am today (Sunday), is now expected to arrive at 8.15pm on Monday, adding to the woes of fans who were already reeling from Rhinos’ heaviest Super League defeat.
Problems in Perpignan also affected the Rhinos squad, but they were expected to fly home today from a different airport.
A fan due to travel on the scheduled flight, who asked not to be named, said the issue was caused by high winds in Perpignan, which meant the incoming aircraft could not land.
Some Leeds fans were on a service to Stansted which did get away as planned, but the supporter said around 150-200 fans were left stranded at the airport in Perpignan.
He said Ryanair arranged for passengers to be accommodated overnight in various hotels around the Perpignan area. RFL chief executive Tony Sutton is understood to be one of those affected.
The fan said: “We had to be at the airport at 8am, then we were waiting around for hours, but everyone has been fantastic.
“There’s nothing anyone can do about it, but it is frustrating. We’ve got a business which will have to stay closed on Monday for the first time in 25 years.”
He added: “It’s ironic, Rhinos couldn’t touch down yesterday and the plane couldn’t touch down today!”
Another supporter said the delay had caused “lots of disruption with work, school and a few personal reasons why people need to be back home today”. But he joked: “At least they cleared us out before the players arrived for their flight.”
Players and staff flew into France on a chartered aircraft. They were being transferred to Montpellier, 157kms from Perpignan, for their return flight this evening.