Madrid is a beautiful city, but perhaps not so beautiful when you think you are flying from Marseille to London on Ryanair and wind up in the Spanish capital instead.
Couple Board Wrong Ryanair Flight, Find Themselves In Spain Instead Of England
Elise Mallia, 33, and Jessy Jezequel, 41 were heading home on Ryanair after a weekend in France to their home in England. They boarded their flight, settled in, closed their eyes, and the flight took off. About an hour into the flight, Jezequel thought he heard a flight attendant mention they were headed to Madrid, but dismissed it…how could they be going to Madrid when they were on a flight to London?
But as the couple sat up, they realized the flight attendants were speaking Spanish. Flagging down one, they asked where the flight was heading to…and were told Madrid. Mallia told the UK Mirror:
“We were baffled and so were the flight attendants.
“We got home in the end, but we still have no idea how it happened.
“It’s not like getting the wrong bus – we literally ended up in a different country!”
The couple questions how they were allowed on the plane, why they were not noticed onboard, and why their boarding passes were scanned several times and yet the discrepancy was not noticed.
Ryanair spared no punches for the couple, laying the blame directly on them:
“Mr Jezequel and Ms Mallia boarded their flight from Marseille to London Stansted through the correct gate. However, these passengers then failed to follow the allocated route to the aircraft departing for London Stansted, crossed an unauthorised area and wrongly boarded a flight departing to Madrid.
“Both passengers were able to occupy the same seats they had booked for their original flight, as this flight was not fully booked, thus not alerting them to their error at this time. An announcement advising passengers of their final destination and estimated time of arrival is made before every flight departure – which should have alerted Mr Jezequel and Ms Mallia that they were on the wrong aircraft.
“Upon arriving at Madrid Airport, these passengers then realised their error and Ryanair staff were notified of these misrouted passengers. Mr Jezequel and Ms Mallia were accommodated on a flight from Madrid to London Stansted later that day.
“It is each passenger’s responsibility to ensure they board the correct aircraft.”
If you’ve never flown Ryanair, keep in mind the budget carrier saves on costs by avoiding jetbridges and generally loading from airstairs. Often, multiple flights are boarding at once, with aircraft next to each other. While ropes and signs separate flights, it is easy enough to hop over a rope, whether deliberately or inadvertently.
While I don’t lay the blame totally on the couple, it seems to me the couple probably should have wondered why boarding announcements were made in Spanish prior to departure and asked questions then.
A couple boarded an incorrect Ryanair flight in France and ended up in Spain instead of England. I’m frankly surprised Ryanair did not charge them an arm and a leg to transport them back to London. Flight attendants do not always announce the final destination, so if you find yourself in a similar situation (and we see this in the USA too on regional flights, which often board simultaneously in clusters), you might want to ask a flight attendant where the flight is headed.
image: Elise Mallia