easyJet ‘very sorry’ after turning away family of five from flight home from Portugal

Exclusive: Airline ground staff mistakenly insisted upon a ‘test to fly’ from children, even though the requirement has been dropped

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Saturday 09 October 2021 15:11
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Britain’s biggest budget airline has apologised after turning away a family of five from their flight home from Portugal.

Elaine Currie, her husband and their three children were booked on the 11.45am flight from Faro to Glasgow – along with the children’s grandparents.

“We got to check in desk where they asked for proof of negative Covid tests for our 11- and 13-year-old.”

The family had actually bought tests-to-fly for returning home, but left them in Scotland because the rules changed on Monday and they were no longer necessary.

Ms Currie hastily paid €60 (£50) for tests at a clinic in the car park at the Algarve airport.

But the results did not come through in time and they were offloaded from the flight.

“We missed the flight but luckily we managed to get our elderly grandparents through – although that’s not ideal as we travel with them to help them.”

They spent £400 on new flights on Ryanair, and waited all day at Faro airport for their replacement flight home.

Ryanair staff correctly did not ask for the tests from the children or anyone else in the party.

While they waited, Ms Currie contacted The Independent and was advised that the decision appeared to be wrong.

She said: “I’m really disappointed with easyJet. We spent over £400 on tests for this trip, which we had postponed for two years as we couldn’t get a refund.

“Now another £400 spent today – not to mention what we are spending in the airport to keep the kids entertained.”

After The Independent contacted easyJet, a spokesperson said: “ We are very sorry that the Currie family were incorrectly denied boarding to their flight to Glasgow.

“This was due to an error at the gate following the very recent changes to the Scottish travel framework this week, which we have addressed with our ground handling provider at Faro airport.

“We have apologised to the family for the error and inconvenience caused. As well as providing the compensation they are entitled to we will also be refunding them in full for their flight and reimbursing them for any other reasonable expenses they may have incurred.”

The family are now due £1,750 in compensation for being wrongly denied boarding.

The Independent has asked whether other easyJet passengers have been turned away in error from Faro airport and, if so, what restitution is being offered.

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