PASSENGERS on a flight to Rome spent two hours in holding patterns over Sussex before returning to Gatwick Airport after a “fuel mishap”.

Vueling flight VY6227 took off from Gatwick at around 9.32pm on Sunday and had been due to land at the Italian capital around 1am.

However, the Airbus A320 instead diverted course just a few minutes into the flight and entered a holding pattern over East Sussex, passing over Burgess Hill, Lewes and Hailsham.

The flight later moved over the Channel off the coast of Bognor before returning to Gatwick some two hours after take-off.

Redhill And Reigate Life: The flight path of VY6227: credit - Flightradar24.comThe flight path of VY6227: credit -

One Twitter user, Francesco Ricci, claimed the flight was overloaded with fuel and was forced to return to the airport.

It is unclear what, if any, compensation has been given to the affected passengers or what arrangements were made to allow them to continue their journey to Rome.

Vueling has been contacted for comment.