Holidaymakers stranded in Crete after flight cancellations have slammed EasyJet for its “chaotic” handling of the “fiasco” which has left many in tears.

Mike and Judi Southcombe, Derek and Jean Guildford and Keith and Marilyn Hine had enjoyed a “lovely” ten-day holiday in Chania, Greece, but now say they have no idea when they will return home to Sussex.

The group of six were supposed to fly back to Gatwick at 4.50pm on Wednesday, however this was diverted due to thunderstorms.

They were eventually put up in a hotel in the early hours of Thursday morning and told to return to the airport for the flight at 3pm.

This was delayed again until 8.50pm however the groups says this also keeps being delayed and they expect another cancellation.

Mr Southcombe, from Brighton, said many people were left to find accommodation for themselves during the early hours of Thursday morning, resulting in almost 40 people, including pregnant women, having to sleep overnight at the airport.

He described the “utter chaos” and said many passengers have been reduced to tears by the situation.

He said about 250 people were supposed to fly out on the 4.50pm flight on Wednesday.

He also said a flight from Chania returned to Gatwick empty.

“When they ran out of hotels at about 3.30am they said you’ve got to find your own accommodation,” said the 71-year-old.

“People were breaking down in tears.

“People were told they could share triple rooms with strangers.

“It was utter chaos.

“They put us all into taxis which took hours and put us into hotels across the island and we were told to come back for the flight at 3pm.

“I think 38 people had to sleep in the airport.

“There’s a woman here who they’ve had to get back into hospital because she’s on dialysis.

“We don’t know when we’ll get back.

“There’s no one talking to us.

“People are trying to get through to EasyJet and we’re getting no answer

“The whole thing is a farce.

“Nobody knows what is happening.”

Mr Southcombe has criticised EasyJet’s handling of the situation and slammed the company for not attempting to find accommodation earlier on Wednesday.

He said they have received no contact from the airline apart from two texts.

He said passengers received a €4.50 voucher for water yesterday and a €14.50 voucher for food today.

He said: “They obviously knew there was a problem so why didn’t they start trying to find hotels at 7 or 8pm?”

He added: “There’s been no coordination or anything.

“All our luggage was sat out on the runway so when it came back through it was sopping wet.

“The whole thing is a big fiasco and no one can get through to EasyJet.

“We might have to spend another night here.”

An EasyJet spokesman told The Argus the diversion of the flight led to the crew reaching their "safety regulated maximum operating hours".

The spokesman said: “We did all possible to minimise the impact of the disruption, keeping passengers informed and updating Flight Tracker with the latest information and provided them with refreshment vouchers."

"We sourced hotel rooms and meals for most customers, however, due to high demand we were unable to provide hotel rooms for everyone and so we advised those who arranged their own that they will be reimbursed.

“The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is EasyJet’s highest priority and while this was outside of our control, we would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience experienced."