The party of 14 had been enjoying a boozy two-day break and were due to fly back to the UK on Saturday 4 June.
However, the easyJet flight scheduled to return from Schipol airport to London Gatwick at 1.25pm was cancelled.
After spending hours waiting in line for security and reaching out to easyJet for help, the dismayed group decided the best option was to leave the airport and find alternative transport.
With Eurostar and car rental options as limited as travelling by air, the party agreed the best route was to make their way to Calais by train to take the ferry back to the UK.
But when they called up to ask about the crossing to Dover on the way, the group were hit with yet another obstacle when they were told foot passengers were not allowed due to health and safety measures – although they found that people on bikes were permitted to cross.
Ever determined to get home, the group figured they could try buying bikes during stopovers in European cities on their way to Calais, and spent the afternoon buying two-wheelers from locals in Brussels and Lille, visiting shops and searching Facebook Marketplace.
Eventually, they managed to secure 13 of the 14 bikes required in a matter of hours, spending €1,540 (£1,300).
Groom-to-be Alex Sisan, 29, said it was the ‘craziest day’, but that they were all desperate to get home.
“We had to spend two hours running around Lille to get bikes,” he said.
“We had booked a Calais to Dover crossing but you needed bikes to get on – no foot passengers were allowed.
“I was on Facebook Marketplace for two hours, with the pin location set to Lille, trying to arrange to buy some of these bikes. They ranged from €40 – to €220!”
When they got to the train station in Lille, the group hit another snag when they were told the one service that would get them to Calais in time would only take fold-up bikes, with no exception.
This meant they had to hail down taxis to drive them down to the port, at an eye-watering cost of €350 per car.
The mathematically astute among you will remember that, at this stage, one of the 14 was still without a bike. Thankfully, however, a charitable couple took pity and let him into their car.
In the end, all 14 of the group arrived in Dover at around 11.30pm, some 12 hours after their flight had been cancelled.
An easyJet spokesperson said: “We are very sorry that the group’s flight from Amsterdam to London Gatwick was cancelled.
“We notified customers directly of their options to rebook or receive a refund and are providing hotel accommodation and meals where required.
“Our customer service hours and hotel accommodation sourcing have been extended to support impacted customers and help get them to their destination as soon as possible.
“Nonetheless we fully understand the disruption this will have caused to their plans and we are very sorry for this.
“Our team are reaching out to the group to talk through their options and reimburse them for any reasonable expenses.”
Sisan, from Worthing in West Sussex, added: “At the time it didn’t feel like fun, but I had two of the best days of my life with 13 best friends and this just topped it off.
“Looking back, the experience was so stressful and like something from a movie or a Top Gear challenge.
“But it was so much fun and a brilliant story that I will be telling at the wedding, and hopefully to my kids – and then their kids!”