EASY JET have apologised to a sun seeking couple after they were forced off their flight to Spain after bungling EasyJet “overbooked the plane”.
Passengers were seated on the EZY1971 flight from Manchester to Lanzarote this morning (WED) when the cabin crew announced there were too many people on onboard.
According to passengers, easyJet have been keeping nine seats on their flights empty in order to provide safer social distancing measures.
However, it was apparently only once holidaymakers were seated that staff realised they only had eight empty seats – prompting the crew to request that someone step forward to leave the aircraft.
When no one stepped forward , desperate EasyJet employees reportedly offered €500 compensation each, a hotel and a seat on the next available flight to whoever would pack up and get a later flight.
The plane, due to take off at 6.20am, finally departed half an hour later after a couple were said to have reluctantly volunteered to disembark the flight so the rest of the passengers could get on their way.
Karen Appleton, who was on the flight, posted about the incident on Facebook while the plane was still on the tarmac.
She said: “So sat on an easyJet plane with one too many on board and they’re asking if anyone is willing to get off.
“Good luck with that one. FFS.”
In a series of comments, she later added: “We are still waiting and won’t go until someone gets off.
“Apparently COVID regulations state they have to have nine spare seats and we only have eight.
“Fifteen minutes delay up to now and no one is volunteering to get off.”
Ten minutes later, she wrote: “So now promised a couple compensation, hotel and next available flight but they’ve got to ring the call centre to sort it out.
“Don’t know whether to give them the heads up that their call centres are dire or hope they get sorted out.
“Round of applause for the lovely couple who volunteered.. Not a great start for EJ.
“€500 offered. They are that desperate.”
Dozens of social media users took to the post criticizing EasyJet for not realising the error earlier.
Sophie Clements wrote: “Surely they knew they had too many for the plane before this point.
“Were they hoping someone would get lost in the departure lounge?”
Claire Hale added: “They’re still overbooking flights then.”
Nicola Stevens wrote: “Flipping hell, they must have known beforehand how many were on board.
“As if someone is going to willingly get off.”
And Georgina Reynolds said: “Now they have to find their cases in the hold and remove them…”
However, some people saw the funny side and praised the couple who stepped forward.
Sam Howard wrote: “Rock, paper, scissors?
“Oh my goodness, well done on that couple.
“Not sure I would put myself forward.
“Now hope you can all get away and have a fabulous holiday.”
EasyJet today (Wed) apologised for the incident and revealed that the couple were given €500 euros each, hotel accommodation and a full refund.
The duo are set to fly to Lanzarote tomorrow, using a different airline.
A spokesman said: “easyJet can confirm that two passengers were unable to travel on flight EZY1971 from Manchester to Lanzarote as the flight was overbooked.
“In line with our policy we sought volunteers who willingly agreed not to fly in return for 500 euros each in compensation, alternative flights with another airline tomorrow, hotel accommodation and a full refund.
“We would like to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.”