“Ryanair took us to Greece instead of Spain – and now don’t say sorry”
The low-cost airline let a couple get on and take the wrong flight to an entirely different country, then turned things around and said it was their fault.
Image: Humaira and Farooq Shaikh)
A couple were injured and lost their pockets after Ryanair let them fly to the wrong country – then refused to apologize.
Instead of the low cost airline even blamed the couple for the entire incident, which saw them fly to Greece instead of their intended destination, Spain.
The issue also raises important safety questions – as the pair boarded and took off from a flight they weren’t supposed to be on in the first place.
Humaira and Farooq Shaikh were scheduled to fly to Seville, Spain on October 4 this year for vacation.
They arrived at Stansted Airport, checked in, going through pre-flight checks at the boarding gate and again once on the plane – including checking their boarding passes.
But the plane was not going to Spain, but rather to Zakynthos, Greece – 1,200 miles away.
The couple got off the plane, still believing they were in Spain, left the airport and got into a taxi.
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Humaira and Farooq Shaikh)
It was only then that they realized what had happened.
“Our phones said ‘Welcome to Greece’ and then our taxi driver said ‘this is not Spain,’ Humaira said.
The cabin crew had not announced the destination of the plane due to its late departure from the UK.
The shocked couple returned to the Greek airport to speak to Ryanair staff, but said they laughed at them and weren’t of much help – despite their boarding passes saying ” Seville ”, a fact that Ryanair staff had missed.
Humaira said Ryanair staff will only pay for one night in a hotel and one return trip to the UK – although the next flight back to London won’t be for four days.
Humaira said: “They would only pay for one night’s accommodation, so we had to pay three more.”
The other option was to resume two flights to the UK, with one stopover, which would have doubled the duration of their trip.
The couple had to foot the bill for the rest of their stay in Greece, but faced a tough struggle due to the shock of the situation and their lack of internet skills.
The couple had also packed for a walking holiday in Spain, and not in the sandy conditions of Zakynthos.
To make matters worse, when they got back to the UK they were nowhere in the Ryanair system and nearly missed their flight – which only did so because they were recognized by a member. from Ryanair staff.
The trip was a gift to the couple from their son, Suleman, who had just graduated as a doctor and was working back in England.
Fortunately, Suleman was able to organize and pay for a hotel until the couple could return to the UK.
But he says he was left out by the incident of around £ 1,100 as he lost payments for a Spanish hotel and pre-booked activities such as walking and bus tours.
Suleman said: “I am completely outraged and shocked that this has been allowed to happen.”
The fact that the couple were allowed on and off the wrong flight is a huge safety risk, Suleman said – but it also took an emotional toll on them.
“Not only was it a complete lack of safety, security and responsibility, but it triggered serious tension and anxiety in my parents,” he added.
“My mother already suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, and receiving his calls to me crying on the phone from Greece while I was working was extremely painful to hear. “
Ryanair did not apologize or offer compensation, but instead blamed the couple for the entire incident.
An email from Ryanair to the couple, seen by The Mirror, said: “All Ryanair baggage drop counters in the departure area are clearly marked.
“The screens above them show the flight number and destination.
“Each customer’s boarding pass clearly shows their flight number and destination. Customers are also advised to check the airport information screens for the boarding gate number.
“It is the responsibility of each passenger to ensure that they follow the correct procedures and take note of the information they have.”
A Ryanair spokesperson said: “It is the responsibility of every customer to make sure they get on the right plane.
“As these passengers went through security screening before boarding, there was no security risk. We are working with our handling agents at London Stansted to ensure this error does not happen again. “