A woman thought she was flying Belfast but ended up in Gibraltar, on the tip of Iberian peninsula, after boarding the wrong EasyJet flight.
Woman Catches Wrong EasyJet Flight
Gemma Cargin, 25, is a teacher in Manchester and a “frequent flyer” who travels across the Irish Channel often to her to visit her family.
On Sunday, she arrived in Manchester (MAN) at what she thought was her gate to Belfast, Northern Ireland (BFS). Cargin claims there were no indications on gate-area monitors that she was actually flying to Gibraltar (GIB), a British Overseas Territory on the southern tip of Spain.
Her boarding pass scanned and did not beep or otherwise indicate a problem. She boarded, found her seat, settled in, and fell asleep. Manchester – Belfast is typically a 40-minute flight. When she awoke later on and looked at her watch, she was surprised the flight was not descending.
When she asked about, a flight attendant said landing was not for another 1 hour, 15 minutes. It was then her mistake became clear. Cargin told BBC:
“I was shocked, I was worried, I was wondering how I was going to get home, was I going to be left in Gibraltar?
“Also, I was thinking about my parents because I knew they were picking me up and that they had no idea where I was.”
And as you might imagine, there was consternation in Belfast as well. The EasyJet flight from Gibraltar to Belfast showed up…without Cargin. As her mother waited patiently in the baggage claim area, Cargin was a no-show.
“There was a lot of confusion. Mum was told I hadn’t made it on to the Belfast flight and she said her stomach just flipped, because I had texted from the plane to say I was on my way.”
Then EasyJet wrongly informed her parents that she flew to Alicante (ALC) instead of Gibraltar. The family had begun making arrangements to find her an alternate flight back to Belfast when they received a text from her…she had landed…in Belfast.
Cargin was rebooked back on the same aircraft to Manchester (not before taking the selfie above), then continued on to Belfast. Ultimately, she arrived about 11 hours late.
A 168-mile journey turned into a 2,562-mile journey thanks to boarding the wrong aircraft.
“We are investigating with the airport and our ground handling partner at Manchester how Ms Cargin was able travel on the wrong flight. As soon as the mistake was realised, it was arranged for them to fly back to Manchester and on to Belfast, their original intended destination.
“Ms Cargin was looked after by our team throughout and provided with refreshments. We would like to sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Ultimately, we should always double check we are stepping onto the right aircraft as well. But it sounds like an unforgettable to me!
Gibraltar, by the way, is one of the coolest airports in the world:
top image: Gemma Cargin