Twin brothers have been left heartbroken after they missed their grandfather’s funeral in Miami due to a Virgin Atlantic fiasco.

Julian and Jerome Hamm said they were “devastated” an airline delay prevented them from saying a final goodbye to their grandad because they missed a connecting flight by just ten minutes.

Julian from Watford and Jerome from Sutton, both 28, flew from London Heathrow to JFK International Airport with Virgin Atlantic on October 25.

But before they could fly off to Miami to join family and friends for the ceremony, they were told they would be kept on the plane for another hour causing them to miss their next flight.

Distraught, the brothers raced to the other terminal when they were released from the aircraft only to get stuck in security which took hours.

Airport staff refused to fast-track the twins and even suggested it was their fault for travelling so close to the funeral date.

Julian said: “If we got off the aircraft at the time we should have done, we still would have made the connecting flight. When we notified staff that we needed to be fast-tracked, they didn’t care.

“We are devastated and furious by the circumstances we find ourselves in through no fault of our own.

“This was our only chance to say goodbye to our grandad, so the family and I are utterly distraught.

“This is the worst thing that could have happened to us and it’s truly inexcusable.”

Virgin staff told the boys there were no flights to Miami until the following morning and put them up in a hotel.

The new flight was scheduled to reach Miami at 9.45am and the funeral was due to start at 10am.

They said: “We called our uncle who was trying to rearrange the funeral. He tried his best but due to the designated time-slot, it couldn’t be altered.”

By the time the brothers reached the church in Miami, the funeral was over and their grandfather had been cremated.

“The airline took away our only chance to say goodbye to our grandad and this is unforgivable. We are devastated that we weren’t able to pay our respects.

“He meant so much to us and nothing will ever bring back that opportunity to say goodbye,” they said.

Coby Benson, flight delay solicitor at Bott and Co who are helping the twins with their case, said: “It is saddening that a delay resulting in a missed connection led to Julian and Jerome missing their grandfather’s funeral.

“The insensitivity shown from Virgin staff is also shocking under the circumstances. Airlines need to do more for passengers when creating flight schedules so that travel arrangements and connection times are met.”

Virgin Atlantic said: "We’re extremely sorry for the distress caused to Mr Hamm and his brother following their flights to Miami, via New York, last month. 

"Whilst our flight landed into New York on time, long taxi queues at JFK meant our customers were held on the aircraft for an extra 45 minutes, which resulted in Mr Hamm and his brother missing their connecting flight.

"Unfortunately there were no more available flights to Miami that day, so our team arranged hotel accommodation and rebooked both customers on the earliest possible flight the next morning. 

"Our team are continuing to speak to Mr Hamm regarding this issue.”