Ryanair ‘sent a couple to the wrong country’
A bewildered couple have complained after claiming Ryanair put them on the wrong plane and flew them to the wrong country.
Simon Forster and Emma Schofield had planned a trip to Copenhagen, but in a bizarre turn of events, they ended up spending their time in Paris.
The pair knew their trip to Copenhagen would not be smooth sailing after facing ‘horrendous queues’ at Manchester Airport during the pre-Christmas ‘chaos’. Manchester Evening News reports.
After clearing the ‘shampoo police’ they ran to their gate where they say Ryanair staff checked their passports and boarding passes.
After being directed down the stairs, they walked to the only waiting aircraft on the runway and boarded.
Simon claims they tried to show their boarding passes to a cabin crew member who he says said “oh, don’t worry” and asked them to sit down.
It wasn’t until they landed that they realized they were on the wrong flight and had boarded a plane for the French town of Beauvais – 750 miles from Copenhagen.
Ryanair says it is the responsibility of every passenger to ensure they board the correct aircraft and that there are several ‘touch points’ throughout the passenger’s journey which advise passengers of the destination of the aircraft – including a welcome PA.
But Simon says he hasn’t heard such an announcement in English.
“The shock of landing somewhere near Paris when you’re supposed to be going to Copenhagen was ridiculous,” he says.
“I would like to understand how it happened.”
Simon is demanding an apology from Ryanair and has demanded the company refund his flights, hotels and taxis after he was forced to shell out more than £930 while in Paris.
The couple’s pre-Christmas adventure began on December 17 last year, when they arrived at Manchester Airport for an evening flight to Copenhagen.
Simon, who runs Leeds-based Robot Food, says he waited over two hours to get through airport security.
He said: ‘The queue for security was absolutely huge and we were all herded together like cattle.
“It looked like we were going to miss our flight.
“As soon as we got there I said ‘we should have taken a train to Edinburgh instead’.
“When we passed the shampoo police, we went out to the airport and there was a last call for Copenhagen.
“The tee time had already passed, so we just drove it back to the gate.
“We got there and three Ryanair staff asked if we were there for Copenhagen.”
Emma and Simon showed staff their passports and boarding passes and were ushered down some stairs.
“There was a red plastic link chain just ahead and to the right, so we turned to the left and towards the plane that was there.
“We boarded and there were only about six other passengers, which wasn’t surprising since so many people were missing flights,” says Simon.
“I showed the flight attendant my boarding pass and she said ‘oh, don’t worry about that’. I was dripping with sweat.
“Our seat numbers were free, so we sat down.
“We landed in less time than expected and when entering the airport I thought I hadn’t recognized him and I often go to Copenhagen.
“We were greeted at passport control with ‘Bonjour’ and it became apparent that we were in France.”
Emma and Simon had landed in Beauvais, a town about an hour from Paris.
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“We went through security and found an English speaking guy who told us where we were.
“He was going to Paris so we asked if we could share a taxi.
“It was now after 11pm and France was not letting British travelers in from midnight, so we were advised to book a hotel quickly. I didn’t have 4G so one of my colleagues booked us into a hotel near the Eiffel Tower for the evening.
Simon contacted Ryanair in the morning and asked to be reimbursed for his flights and hotel in Copenhagen and to be given return tickets. He was told to complete an online complaint form – which he did on December 21.
The couple stayed in France for the weekend and booked flights back to the UK with Easyjet.
“We had a lovely weekend and on the way home we kept getting messages from Ryanair about the flight back to Copenhagen being delayed.”
Since returning home, Simon has tried to speak to Ryanair on several occasions to complain and seek reimbursement for his flights and costs incurred.
He says he filled out numerous complaint forms online and tried to talk to the company, but to no avail.
He says he spent €1,108 on the original flights to Copenhagen and a hotel in the Danish city, a taxi from Beauvais, one night in a Paris hotel and return flights from France to the UK.
“After spending hours calling Ryanair and filling in online forms, my complaint is showing as ‘resolved’,” he said.
“I was told on Monday that I would be contacted in three days. Today (Friday) I called back and someone hung up on me.
Simon says his colleagues joked that the script resembled the plot of the film Home Alone 2: Lost In New York – in which lead character Kevin McCallister finds himself separated from his family on a flight to the Big Apple .
“It was really a *** show”, summarizes Simon.
“Just the fact that we tried to show our boarding passes and were told ‘don’t worry’, you wouldn’t think that could happen these days.
“If you put passengers on the wrong plane to the wrong country, you expect an apology.”
Ryanair did not provide comment, but for context it said: “It is the responsibility of every passenger to ensure they are boarding the correct aircraft.
“There are multiple touchpoints throughout the passenger journey that inform passengers of the aircraft’s destination, including:
Flight number and destination are clearly printed on the passenger’s boarding pass
Flight number and destination are displayed at the gate
The flight number and destination are announced in the standard boarding AP
The flight number and the destination are mentioned in the welcome PA on board.”
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