Ryanair passengers ‘imprisoned’ in stairwell while flight takes off without them

‘People were furious’

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 04 September 2019 11:44
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Ryanair passengers were left “furious” after staff allegedly locked them in a stairwell at Edinburgh airport while their flight to Krakow left without them.

It’s claimed around 30 passengers missed the flight on 3 September, having spent an hour “held prisoner” in the confined space, where doors were locked at either end.

The frustrated travellers only escaped when Nicolas Vasquez, an IT worker from Edinburgh, activated an emergency exit after seeing that the aircraft had already taken off via an online flight tracker.

He told the Daily Record: “Maybe you could understand if a few passengers were missing and they didn’t do a head count but this was something else altogether. So many of the passengers were locked into the stairwell that it was obvious.”

He added that lots of old people had been left behind, forced to stand for hours and unable to access a toilet, “which was pretty bad”.

Passengers, including personal trainer Mark Henderson, speculated that they had been left behind because Ryanair’s priority was making its take-off slot and “then dealing with the passengers later”.

The 32-year-old, who was honeymooning with new wife Cara, said people were “furious” and that there was “no way” staff didn’t know the passengers were not onboard.

“Staff had come through us then got on the plane, locking us in behind them,” he claimed.

Tom Brady, 77, added that passengers were “literally held prisoners in the stairwell. That would be no exaggeration.”

The abandoned passengers had already gone through all check-in and security checks and their bags were onboard the aircraft.

Twitter user Hasara Frer tweeted: “Ryanair flight FR6624 decided to just take off without over a dozen passengers, including me.

“Sorry, just counted, 30 people.

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Ryanair doesn’t even have a desk at Edinburgh so poor Swissport need to deal with this.”

Those left behind were finally put on another flight at around 9pm, which was due to land in Krakow five hours later than their original flight.

A Ryanair spokesperson said: “We apologise to our customers for this incident (3 Sept). This is a matter for Edinburgh Airport’s handling agent Swissport”.

A Swissport spokesperson told The Independent: “We can confirm that we are investigating a boarding issue on a flight from Edinburgh to Krakow where the flight departed without all passengers onboard. We apologise to the passengers for the inconvenience caused and we are working closely with the airline to establish what went wrong.

“All passengers were given a complimentary refreshment voucher and were booked onto an alternative flight later that day.”

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