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11 November 2015, 05:00
A South Shields businessman who was stranded in Sharm el-Sheikh in the aftermath of the plane crash has told how he went against official advice and made his own way back to the UK.
Craig Hobson, 42, was on holiday in the Egyptian resort with his business partner and they made alternative arrangements after working out they faced being trapped there for up to an extra week.
They were due to come back from a week's break on Saturday but the flight was cancelled, so for just #180 they took a plane from Sharm to Istanbul, with a connection on to Heathrow.
Mr Hobson, who runs TVR Removals in South Shields, said:
``I'm surprised more people haven't done it."
``I know in one sense, effectively you are travelling against Foreign Office advice, but we counted up how long we were going to be stuck."
``In our view, security was stepped up ten-fold, the army was there and we felt it was safe as it was ever going to be, flying with Pegasus."
``If you have a medical condition or a child with disabilities and are waiting to get to hospital (in the UK), there are still very simple routes out of there.''
Mr Hobson was a frequent visitor to the resort and said he had previously seen serious security lapses, with staff asleep, security personnel playing games on their phones and people moving freely from passenger-side to air-side.
``Previously, it was funny, now this has happened, you look back with horror.''
He hoped to return, but only when it was deemed safe again.
``I would love to go back, I love the Egyptian people. But would I fly against Foreign Office advice? Probably not.''