PASSENGERS on an EasyJet flight to Inverness were at risk of losing their seat on the plane – unless they had paid extra for advance seat selection.
EasyJet flight 153 on August 19 was downgraded to a smaller plane, which meant that staff had to ask passengers to volunteer to leave the flight and get a later one.
The Independent reports that a dozen passengers were asked at the departure gate if they would swap to a later flight, and offered an incentive of £150.
The airline was actually obliged to pay £224 to passengers in line with EU261 regulation.
Only six people came forward, which meant that the airline then had to select additional people to be offloaded – and staff chose only selected who hadn’t paid the £15 extra fee to pick their seat in advance.
Professor David Southall, a passenger on the plane, told the publication: “All ‘speedy boarders’ were allowed on without question.”
“When it came to selection of who would be turned away, there was no humanity in the decision-making.
“In particular there was a lady who was supposed to be attending her grandchild’s christening that afternoon and she was refused.”
After the woman who had a christening to attend got upset, another passenger offered to give up their seat, but it’s reported that a member airline staff said there wasn’t enough time for the swap to be made.
Professor Southall went on say that the staff made no attempt to assess the urgency of passengers’ travel plans in working out who should get off the flight.
He that the “rich speedy boarders” shouldn’t have had priority over the woman who was forced to miss the christening.
EasyJet’s policy when it comes to offloading passengers is for the last people who have checked in to be chosen – unless they have paid the extra fee for a specific seat.
The airline also tells Sun Online Travel that people who require special assistance will get priority.
A statement from the airline reads: “easyJet can confirm that as a result of an aircraft downgrade from a larger A320 to a smaller A319, a number of passengers were unable to travel on flight EZY153 from Luton to Inverness on 19 August.