Passengers were fuming after boarding a Dublin-bound flight to find out their plane seats didn’t exist.
A video of around eight travellers standing at the back of a Ryanair flight has gone viral after they were left waiting on the tarmac at London's Stansted Airport.
“So everyone here has paid for seats,” Geoff Harrington from Suffolk tells the camera as he moves it about the crowded cabin, revealing more baffled passengers who’d also “paid for seats".
“And we’re stuck at the back of the plane,” he added, “as they have overbooked, no, they’ve sent a smaller plane.”
Ryanair passenger forced to cancel his trip
Taking to Facebook to vent his frustration, Mr Harrington revealed that he was forced to cancel his trip to Ireland on October 21 when the airline couldn’t fit him on board.
The 62-year-old had been due to be seated in row 35 of the plane but he soon realised that the aircraft only went up to row 33.
While Ryanair staff tried to sort out the issue, as captured in the clip, tensions boiled among the group who claimed the 10.05pm flight had already been delayed by half an hour.
When no solution could be found, Mr Harrington and the other passengers were forced to get off the plane.
They were each offered £250 ($450) in compensation, accommodation for the night and a seat on the next available flight the following morning.
But for Mr Harrington, who was heading to Dublin for a Subbuteo tournament, a tabletop football game, it wasn’t going to work.
“There was no point in travelling the next day as we’d missed the tournament we were playing in,” he explained.
“So complete refund and compensation due.”
Missing rows of seats ‘overlooked’
Facebook users were quick to share their own experiences with the Ryanair.
“[This] happened to me in July,” one person wrote. “[I] can’t believe this is still happening.”
“This is typical of Ryanair,” said another. “Never any communication.”
“Ryanair only operate two types of aircraft,” one man explained. “The Boeing 737-800as which is slowly being replaced by the Boeing 737-800 Max.”
“I’m guessing that you were scheduled to fly on a Max, that has 197 seats, but were sent an old 800, which has just 189.
“I expect some overworked chap in operations in Dublin was made aware of the original aircraft going tech and was a cock-a-hoop he could rapidly get another palace and crew to cover pretty smartly.
“Unfortunately he overlooked the eight seat difference. I doubt the gate staff even knew it should have been a Max until the last few passengers tried to board."
But the explanation just left Mr Harrington seeing red.
“If they knew they were going to send the wrong plane, how about letting us know BEFORE we got on the plane or even earlier so I haven’t wasted five hours of my life travelling,” he wrote online.
Ryanair has since confirmed that due to an aircraft change a very small number of passengers on the flight were moved to alternative flights the following day.
"Affected passengers were provided with overnight accommodation and will receive compensation," the airline said in a statement to the Daily Mail.
"Ryanair sincerely apologises to these passengers for any inconvenience caused."
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