It would seem one man’s revolutionary is another airline’s disgruntled customer.
Angry passengers on board a Ryanair flight in Paris reportedly revolted against airline staff and “pillaged” the plane of its cigarettes, perfume, food and booze after they were fed up with the airline’s handling of a delay.
The incident dates back to Jan. 11 after the flight bound for Paris’s Beauvais airport had to make an emergency stop in Madrid to drop off an ill passenger. The flight departed from Rabat, Morocco and was on track to land in Paris within two hours but the emergency pushed the flight so behind schedule that airline crews could not land at Beauvais due to the airport’s night-time noise restrictions, according to the Local.
Instead, the plane had to land at Nantes airport, some 500 km west of its original destination, and passengers would have to spend the night in nearby hotels. That’s when some of the 170 passengers upset that a two-hour flight had become a 24-hour ordeal began looting the plane of its goods.
“The plane and its crew were effectively taken hostage by a group of disgruntled passengers,” said a Nantes airport employee in an interview with Metro News “They pillaged the aircraft for food, drinks — especially alcoholic drinks — cigarettes and perfumes; anything of any value. They behaved like animals towards the plane, the crew members and members of the airport’s ground staff.”
But some disgruntled passengers said their actions were justified.
“We were tired, on edge, because the situation was badly managed, we were hungry and thirsty and no one was giving us any information,” said one passenger quoted in the International Business Times.
“After seven hours locked in a plane — instead of the scheduled two-and-a-half — people need to eat. We simply helped ourselves.”
Ryanair, for its part, says the incident was overblown.
“There was no mutiny on arrival in Nantes,” a Ryanair spokes person told the Daily Telegraph.“Passengers were provided with overnight hotel accommodation and were transferred by coach to Paris Beauvais the following morning, in line with Ryanair’s policies and obligations. Ryanair apologised sincerely to all passengers affected by this delay.”
The budget airline hasn’t had the best public image in recent years, with airline CEO Michael O’Leary acknowledging while people love the prices, the company could improve in customer satisfaction
“We should try to eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off,” said O’Leary in the company’s annual general meeting last September.