Polish Ryanair passenger flying home ends up 1,000 miles away in Malta after boarding wrong flight

Pensioner Pawel Lawreniuk was supposed to fly to Gdansk

Elderly passenger Pawel Lawreniuk ended up in Malta rather than Gdansk
Elderly passenger Pawel Lawreniuk ended up in Malta rather than Gdansk

An elderly passenger who thought he was flying home to Gdansk found himself 1,000 miles away in Malta when he landed.

Pawel Lawreniuk, who had been visiting family in the UK over Christmas, was due to fly back on 6 January. But instead he boarded the wrong Ryanair flight at Leeds Bradford Airport.

The 75-year-old was allowed to get onto the flight and took his seat – but had no idea that he was not about to fly the 825 miles from Leeds Bradford Airport to Gdansk, but rather to the Mediterranean island of Malta almost 2,000 miles away.

The elderly passenger only realised he hadn’t landed in Poland when he struggled to get a taxi home from Malta International Airport, according to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus. He was told by a staff member at the information desk: “I am sorry sir but I don’t speak Polish.”

Mr Lawreniuk was able to board a flight from Malta to Gdansk later that day, landing at home almost 14 hours after he set off.

His daughter Lucyna Lawreniuk, 34, who lives in Bradford, said that she double checked that the ticket said Gdansk.

“I cried, I was scared – he was in a different country, a different place. I don’t know how it is possible for him to make it all the way to Malta,” she added.

A Swissport spokesperson said in a statement: “We are aware that a passenger was able to board an incorrect flight at Leeds Bradford Airport on Sunday 6 January.

“”The passenger had undergone all airport security screening before boarding the flight and had a valid passport which had been checked. We are investigating how this occurred and we are re-briefing all staff on procedure. We would like to apologise to Mr Lawreniuk for the inconvenience caused."

The Independent has contacted Ryanair for comment.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in