Six flights leaving from Malaga airport were cancelled on Monday as a result of the airline Monarch announcing that it had ceased all operations with immediate effect. Flights from the Costa del Sol to London Luton, Birmingham, London Gatwick and Manchester were all affected.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is arranging alternative flights until 15 October at the request of the British government to ensure that people get back to the UK within 24 hours of their original bookings.
Six flights from the UK destined for Malaga have also been cancelled but no replacement services will be provided.
Many passengers on Monday were informed of the cancellation well before their flight. Terry Dyson, who was travelling on the 12.15pm flight to Birmingham said: "I received a text at around 5.15am saying that my flight had been cancelled. I was advised not to go to the airport but I had no option."
Some, though, were left in the dark. Anthony McCaughan from Coventry, who was also booked on the Monarch flight to Birmingham said: "There is a real lack of communication. I didn't even receive a text. Everything seems to be a rumour at the moment; all we can really do is wait around and try to get ourselves on another flight."
Passengers flying to Luton seem to have had a bit more luck. Many were booked onto a British Airways replacement flight at 11.50am, the same time as their original departure time. Amanda Murray told SUR in English: "I visited the website this morning (Monday) and saw that I was able to catch a British Airways flight to Luton."
"Luckily, we have not been affected that much, the only annoyance is that we are silver members and all of the perks that come with this are not available on the new flight," she added. "But the process has been fairly well dealt with."
Another passenger flying to Luton, Michael Romero-Sanz, had a more traumatic wait before he was able to board an alternative flight. On arrival at the airport he was informed that he would not be able to board the replacement flight, contrary to information he had received: "My booking reference wasn't on the list of those exempt, but when I arrived I was told that I was not able to get on the flight. It's just a matter of waiting now."
Though for Michael it was mostly a case of "lost time and inconvenience", he had sympathy for others with connected flights: "If they miss that then they are in real trouble."
Despite lots of anxious waiting, most passengers were able to board an alternative flight back to the UK. Monarch passengers on the morning flight to Birmingham and Manchester were transferred onto a flight to Manchester run by Air Transat, and remaining Luton passengers were reportedly able to board the British Airways replacement flight.
Passengers on future Monarch flights are advised to visit the official website set up by the CCA for more information about their options.