Ryanair slams ‘abysmal’ French airport after passenger in wheelchair left behind at terminal

Airline claims its crew were ‘misinformed’

Benjamin Parker
Friday 22 September 2023 09:38 BST
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<p>The plane was getting ready to take off when it had to turn around </p>

The plane was getting ready to take off when it had to turn around

Ryanair has blasted a French airport after it was forced to turn one of its planes back while preparing to take off because a passenger using a wheelchair had been left behind at the terminal.

The low-cost airline, whose aircraft was bound for Scotland, has placed the blame on Bordeaux Airport in southwestern France, calling the error “unacceptable”.

Flight FR6700 was scheduled to depart at 10pm on Tuesday (19 September) evening, and the plane had started taxiing to the runway when the airline was alerted to the mistake.

The pilot made a U-turn to collect the overlooked passenger.

The Irish operator has accused the airport of failing to provide the passenger with the special assistance they required, and claims that crew had been “misinformed” that everyone who should be on the flight had boarded the plane. Ryanair added that it was working with the airport to ensure “this does not recur”.

The Independent has contacted Bordeaux Airport for comment.

When special assistance is needed, it is booked through the airline – with Bordeaux Airport stating on its website that it does not take direct requests – but the service is then provided by the airport. On the same webpage, the French aviation hub says that it “does its utmost to ensure passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility receive a top-quality service”.

Ryanair told The Independent: “It is unacceptable that Bordeaux Airport failed to provide this passenger with the special assistance required to board this flight from Bordeaux to Edinburgh (19 September) despite Ryanair paying for this service.

“Not only did they fail to board this passenger, but they misinformed the crew on this flight that all passengers had been boarded when in fact this passenger had not, and the aircraft began to taxi onto the runway. Ground staff at Bordeaux Airport realised their error and notified the crew who returned to stand in order to board the passenger.

“It is abysmal that Ryanair customers requiring special assistance are being let down by Bordeaux Airport and we are working with them to ensure that this does not recur.”

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