Every Friday, FlyerTalk looks back at the week’s most charming individuals. While there are always plenty of contenders for our Worst easyJet Passenger of the Week award, only one lucky easyJet flyer can take home the glory. Here are this week’s winners.
easyJet charges as much as $100 to transfer the name on a boarding pass and even more to change an itinerary. The administrative fee is a bargain compared to the nearly $200 fee competitor Ryanair charges to correct a simple spelling mistake on a booking, but still, perhaps reason enough for a passenger to try to slip onto a flight using a boarding pass with incorrect information.
Of course, there are plenty of more nefarious reasons to travel on the wrong boarding pass. So, when an Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) to Manchester Airport (MAN)-bound easyJet passenger boarded a flight with the wrong boarding pass, authorities eventually took the security lapse quite seriously. Although the passenger had already passed through security and presented the wrong boarding pass to at least one ticket agent, it wasn’t until he had already boarded that officials realized there was a problem. Armed police reportedly stormed the aircraft before takeoff and evacuated the entire plane.
According to eyewitnesses on the flight, the passenger allegedly traveling on the wrong boarding pass had already placed his bags in an overhead bin and taken a seat; crew members only realized the problem when another passenger pointed out that there were was more than one boarding pass with the same seat assignment.
“He had already put the luggage in the overhead locker,” one passenger on the flight told reporters. “He was sat in someone else’s seat. He had got on and put his luggage on. The police came on after that. We were taken off the plane. We were already delayed for two hours. We were supposed to take off at 3.20pm. We set off at around 6.45pm. Everyone was scared and didn’t know what to do. I’m scared of flying anyway.”
easyJet later confirmed the mistake in a statement. The airline did not disclose whether the passenger involved had inadvertently boarded the wrong flight or was intentionally attempting to travel on an invalid boarding pass.
“EasyJet can confirm that a passenger was offloaded from flight EZY1838 from Amsterdam to Manchester on December 16 after it was discovered they did not have the correct boarding pass,” an airline spokesperson said in a statement. “The safety and security of our passengers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority.”
easyJet’s largest hub at London Gatwick Airport (LGW) came under drone attack this week. The airport’s runways were closed from Wednesday evening through much of the day on Thursday because of a number of drones spotted flying overhead. The airport briefly reopened to commercial air traffic overnight, but quickly closed again when more drones were spotted in the airspace surrounding the facility.
While a rude or intoxicated passenger can inconvenience an entire plane full of flyers making hundreds of air travelers miserable, the drone “pilots” who effectively shuttered a major international airport managed to disrupt thousands of passengers over the busy holiday travel season. To make matters worse, easyJet is now accused of simply “dumping” LGW-bound flyers at Manchester Airport (MAN) with no assistance reaching their intended destination.
“Absolutely disgusted at the lack of compassion from both @easyJet and @manairport,” one agitated and stranded flyer complained on Twitter. “Told to sort ourselves accommodation and transport at 2am and not given any further information on how to claim money back etc. Dumped onto the streets of Manchester with nowhere to go.”
An easyJet spokesperson confirmed that three flights were diverted to MAN. According to the carrier, ground transportation to LGW was made available, but any passengers who paid their own way will be reimbursed.
“Whilst the situation is outside of our control we would like to apologize to passengers for the inconvenience caused by the diversions and resultant delays and cancellations,” the airline said in a familiar-sounding statement. “The safety of its passengers and crew is the airline’s highest priority.”
easyJet’s popular and inexpensive holiday flights to the Canary Islands have been a breeding grounding for overindulging Worst Passengers of the Week in the past, but given the island resorts’ reputation as a LGBT-friendly tourist destination, the hate on display from an allegedly intoxicated and disruptive Tenerife South–Reina Sofia Airport (TFS) to London Gatwick Airport (LGW) passenger seems especially misplaced. LGW Police say they were called to meet the inbound flight, in part, because of the out-of-control passenger’s inflight homophobic rant.
“Drunk passenger arrested upon landing into Gatwick Airport tonight due to him verbally abusing a member of crew with homophobic comments during the flight,” police said in a statement on social media. “Unacceptable and we will be robust with individuals.”
The airline confirmed the incident this week. In this case, a spokesperson slightly altered the obligatory passenger safety refrain.
“easyJet’s cabin crew are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time,” the airline noted. “Whilst such incidents are rare we take them very seriously and do not tolerate abusive or threatening behavior onboard.”
easyJet had some explaining to do after passengers complained about the appearance of an offensive wifi network handle during a flight from Munich Airport (MUC) to London Luton Airport (LTN) this week. It was bad enough that the inappropriate network name, reading “Shut it, you slag” showed up on the flyer’s mobile device, but the pearl-clutching passengers insisted that there was reason to believe the disrespectful message was the work of a crew member.
“My wife tried to log onto Wi-Fi and this was the only option that came up, apart from a Munich Airport connection and the personal hotspot for another passenger,” the aghast passenger told the Sun. “We were pretty shocked to say the least. The Wi-Fi connection was the only option to come up on the runway, during take-off, all the way through the flight and again when we landed in Luton. I contacted easyJet on Twitter and they said that it was another passenger’s mobile device but that doesn’t explain how it could have been present as an option for the duration of the flight, even at 35,000 feet. When my phone lost network signal, the “Shutityouslag” network was still available which makes me think it was an on-board service. That high up, all devices are in airplane mode and there is no network connection for those that aren’t. It must be that this was some kind of on-board Wi-Fi for the crew to use that had been renamed like this as a joke. Only it’s not very funny when passengers can see it.”
easyJet made quick work of proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the wifi network in question could not have been an easyJet wifi network surreptitiously renamed by a crew member. It turns out the no-frill carrier has a rock solid defense against the charges.
“easyJet does not have an in-flight wifi,” an airline spokesperson told the tabloid newspaper. “It appears that this is the name personally set on a device of a customer who is traveling onboard the flight.”