Flyers claim captain held vote to “stay on aircraft,” while EasyJet says different.
Vacationing passengers flying British low-cost carrier EasyJet say that they were forced to make a startling decision: stay on an aircraft with one working engine, or deplane entirely. Britain’s Daily Mail reports that the flyers were placed in charge of a flight from Malgala Airport (AGP) to Bristol Airport (BRS) on Saturday, June 10.
Their aircraft was originally scheduled to depart on Thursday, but multiple delays forced passengers to wait over 40 hours to board. When flyers were finally allowed on an EasyJet aircraft, it was allegedly discovered that only one engine was functional. After an hour-long wait, those aboard say the captain came out and asked them to vote on two options: continue to stay on, or deplane the aircraft.
“He [the captain] said we could stay on the plane – we’d been on it waiting for an hour at this point and been in Malaga for two nights extra already – or he’d see if we would be allowed to get off again,” flyer Terri Hill told the Daily Mail. “There were about 12 people who wanted to stay on, but the rest of us wanted to get off.”
Some travelers claimed to the newspaper that they interpreted the vote as one to either fly with one functional engine, or not depart on the disabled aircraft. Ultimately, everyone was accommodated aboard a second flight later that day.
A spokesperson for EasyJet clarified to the newspaper that the pilot attempted to start the second engine after the first one was fired, which is a normal procedure. They further clarified that a trained pilot would never attempt to fly a dual-engine aircraft with only one operational engine. The carrier offered their apologies to those affected.
“Because he was aware that the passengers had already been considerably delayed due to a technical problem the pilot asked the passengers if they would like to get off or remain on board whilst the engine start up sequence continued,” the spokesperson told the Daily Mail. “At no point did the pilot ask passengers, or would ever attempt, to fly the aircraft without both engines working correctly.”