EasyJet Sends 84 Year Old Woman to Wrong Country

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Even been on a wrong flight before? Earlier this week, one passenger was incorrectly sent to Malta, when she was suppose to be on a flight to Greece, despite having the correct boarding pass and was even allowed to board without any issue the incorrect flight.

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Per Yahoo Travel, EasyJet and Manchester Airport are promising to take corrective measures after allowing an 84-year-old woman who was left unattended in a wheelchair to take the wrong flight to Malta instead of Athens, even though her boarding pass had the correct destination and her baggage was flown there. 

Argyro Aretaki, who speaks no English, was supposed to receive special assistance to her plane, which was arranged by her son, Dimitri Aretakis. Instead she was unattended in Terminal 1 near adjacent gates with similar flight numbers: one to Malta, one to Athens. The flights were scheduled to depart within 10 minutes of each other on May 18.

“When she realized no one was going to take her to her plane she decided to get up and follow the crowd,” Dimitri Aretakis said.

The woman was allowed to board the wrong plane to Malta despite the boarding pass to Athens, and when what she thought was her seat was occupied, the flight crew simply found her a different one rather than realize the mistake. 

Aretaki wound up 550 miles off course in Malta, with her baggage in Athens – flying baggage without the bag’s owner on the plane is against airport security rules. 

“My mother was not aware that she was in Malta rather than Athens,” Aretakis said. “But when no one was at the airport to collect her she realized that something was wrong. She became very distressed until another airport user took her to the information center.”

As for Aretaki, airport staff in Malta found her son’s number and called him after she landed. Rather than take a flight straight to Athens that night, Aretaki was forced to spend the night in Malta, fly back to Manchester the next day, then fly to Athens. 

During this time Aretakis said he couldn’t get a direct phone line to someone on EasyJet’s staff for help, instead having to call through the main customer service number.

A Manchester Airport spokesperson said a member of its staff took the woman to the wrong gate, “an error we are taking very seriously. As part of our investigation we plan to introduce additional procedures such as additional signage and wayfinding for assistance staff.”

Meanwhile, an EasyJet spokesperson said, “The procedures in place for boarding passengers with reduced mobility were not followed. Although this was an isolated incident, we have put in place corrective measures to prevent any reoccurrences. We have refunded the cost of the flight and awarded compensation.”

Bottom Line

They might call it EasyJet, but apparently it’s not as easy as it may seen for them to send passengers to their correct destinations.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

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  1. Reading this reminds me of the time when I went to pick up my mother at Nantucket airport and found out she was in Martha’s Vineyard. Airline personnel had directed her to the Martha’s Vineyard flight because “It is leaving right away and is nearby.” Well it wasn’t too far away, but she wasn’t able to walk on water, as these are both islands! And while both had connections to the mainland, there was very little connection between them. When she finally arrived on Nantucket, we had a good laugh!

  2. Entirely possible. Not sure how easyjet scans their boarding passes (or not) as I’m sure airports across the pond deal w/ tickets, but it took almost 10 minutes for an FA to realize 2 passengers had the same last name and similar first names. Guy 1 was “upgraded” to F…then there was a seat mixup when Guy 2 seat was “free” and they tried to put someone else in his seat…then the fog started to clear and they had to DOWNgrade Guy 1…upgrade Guy 2 and new Passenger 1 lost his aisle seat for a middle.

    Guy 1 took it VERY VERY well considering he moved his bags up to F, and no bin space left when he was downgraded. That was on top of him getting delayed flights since 10am that day (it was 6pm) and this delayed flight was going to make him miss the last fight home as well. I think he was in the comically giddy stage b/c soooo much had gone wrong for him.

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