HENRY Stewart, 70, who was recovering from a recent heart attack, says the last connecting bus of the day had gone and he had left his phone at home so was unable to get help.
PENSIONER Henry Stewart spent the first night of his holiday in a recycling bin.
But he was stranded after a bungling bus driver dropped him 15 miles away from the airport at a park and ride site in Halbeath, Fife.
Henry, 70, who was recovering from a recent heart attack, says the last connecting bus of the day had gone and he had left his phone at home so was unable to get help.
So he spent the night huddled for shelter in an unlocked recycling bin, trying to burn fish and chip wrappers for warmth.
After being told of the bungle, bus firm Citylink booked replacement flights for him and organised for his stay in Malta to be extended so he did not miss any of his break.
They say the driver – contracted from another firm – has been
interviewed and the “appropriate action taken” with regards to his employers.
Citylink added that buses had come and gone during the evening without the pensioner approaching them for aid, and that there had been a service the following morning that could have taken him to the airport in time.
Henry, from Dundee, said yesterday he had been confused to find himself at Halbeath and disorientated by the dark and stormy conditions.
And he claimed he was told by the first driver he approached that none of the buses stopping during the remainder of the evening could take him to his destination. He said: “I was supposed to be on my way to spend the festive period with friends in Malta but instead the driver just dumped me in the middle of a storm at Halbeath.
“It was freezing cold and the whole place was in total darkness. The wind was horrendous.
“I went round the back to get out of the wind, found an open bin and crawled in to wait out the night.”
He said that despite enjoying his holiday, the entire incident had left him with a sour taste and he is considering further action.
The firm dispute his claims about his search for shelter, although they acknowledge he disappeared from CCTV for three-and-a-half hours.
A spokeswoman for Scottish Citylink said: “We are very sorry for the difficulties Mr Stewart
“This was due to an error made by a driver employed by a third party company operating on our behalf.
“We have raised the matter with the company involved and made clear our disappointment at the
situation faced by Mr Stewart.
“We are pleased to have been able to make arrangements for Mr Stewart to enjoy an extended trip to Malta.”