Ryanair takes a British couple bound for Spain to Lithuania after an “incredible” mistake at the airport

Andrew Gore was looking forward to a gift on his 47th birthday: flying with his wife Victoria and 10 others for a week-long vacation on Spain’s Costa Brava.

But after an extraordinary mix-up at Bristol airport, the couple from Mountain Ash, south Wales, were put on the wrong Ryanair plane, away from their family and friends.

Despite having boarding passes showing their destination as Barcelona, ​​they were flown to Kaunus in Lithuania.

To reach their intended destination, they had to endure a 150-mile Uber ride across an international border to Riga in Latvia, and a 1,400-mile flight to Spain.

“I was distraught and scared. “I didn’t stop crying,” Mrs. Gore said. “It was my worst nightmare.”

Andrew and Victoria Gore, also 47, had done everything right. They had booked a package holiday with Sunshine.co.uk, which cost more than £1,500 a week. The deal included flights from Bristol to Barcelona with Ryanair.

As Andrew is an amputee and Victoria is autistic, they booked special assistance at Bristol Airport and arrived in time to catch the 8.15am flight on Saturday 25 May.

Mrs Gore said: “We have been away many times and have always had special assistance, so this was nothing new to us.

“The minibus took us to the Ryanair plane, they checked our boarding pass and let us get on the plane.”

The couple had been assigned separate seats on their original flight. Mrs Gore, believing she was on the plane leaving shortly after for Barcelona, ​​said: “I asked the flight attendant if we could sit together because I’m afraid of flying.

“He checked our boarding pass again and put us in the second row.”

They were on the wrong plane, while his family, who had no special assistance, boarded the correct plane.

“We didn’t see our family getting along, so we asked them if they were on board and they assured us they were,” Mrs. Gore said.

The Boeing 737 took off for the 1,400-mile trip to Kaunus. “We had a couple of drinks and then we went to sleep because we had gotten up early,” Mrs. Gore said.

“When we landed, it was very clear that we were in Lithuania.”

They alerted the crew and, according to Gore, the captain became “furious” when he found out what had happened. He instructed staff to provide them with care and transportation.

With no direct flights from Kaunus to Barcelona, ​​ground staff booked them for the next day’s flight from Riga, 150 miles north across the Latvian border. They were also assigned a hotel and an Uber to take them there.

They flew normally to Barcelona the next day and were taken to their hotel on the Costa Brava.

But they had no luggage: it had been stolen from the Bristol-Barcelona flight when, through no fault of their own, they did not board the plane.

It finally arrived two days later.

Andrew and Victoria Gore have returned to South Wales. “I’ve heard about suitcases going to the wrong place, but not people. Nowadays, there are many controls. How could it happen?

“They looked at our boarding passes many times. Is incredible.”

The independent He contacted Ryanair, who blamed the incident on ABM, which provides special assistance at the airport.

“These passengers booked special assistance for this flight from Bristol to Barcelona (May 25), but ABM agents boarded them on the wrong flight to Kaunas despite gate signage clearly showing the flight destination,” said a spokesman.

“On arrival at Kaunas airport, these passengers notified the crew that they were on the wrong flight and Ryanair immediately arranged for both passengers to be re-accommodated on the next available flight to Barcelona, ​​which was scheduled to depart Riga airport the morning. next (May 26). ).

“As these passengers did not board their flight to Barcelona, ​​their bags were removed from the plane in accordance with standard security procedures. When it was discovered that these passengers had been diverted and rerouted to Barcelona, ​​their bags were rushed from Bristol Airport to Barcelona.

“We sincerely apologize to these passengers for any inconvenience caused as a result of ABM’s error and have assured them that they will be fully compensated by Bristol Airport.”

A Bristol Airport spokesperson said:

“We have worked with our business partners to investigate this incident. All customers have their travel documentation reviewed by the airline or its ground handling agent before boarding a plane. Since being informed of the issue, Bristol Airport has worked with our airline handling agent and special assistance provider to investigate the circumstances and introduce improvements for the future.

“We will contact the customer to provide information to direct their complaint to the correct business partner for resolution.”