Friends at ‘end of queue stopped from boarding overbooked Ryanair flight’

A group of friends say their girls holiday was “ruined” after they claim they were denied boarding on their way home.

The group, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, were ready to go home after a fun packed week in Magaluf but after heading to Palma de Mallorca airport on Sunday, July 16, the holiday quickly turned sour.

Louis Mckernan, along with three of her friends, say they scanned their boarding passes at security with no issues before patiently waiting at their gate.

But after being called up to board their flight, they claim one member of the group’s boarding pass failed to scan.

The others claim they then attempted to scan their Ryanair boarding passes but were told they were invalid.

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Louise, 19, claims she asked a staff member for help but she was told to stand to the side of the queue and wait.

As they waited, staff allegedly boarded everyone onto the flight and closed the gate, meaning the group were no longer allowed onto the plane.

Louise says she asked a staff member for help again and was told the group would not be boarding as they had checked themselves out of their flight.

Louise, from Westhougton, says this was not possible. She now believes the flight was overbooked and they didn’t get on because they were near the back of the queue. However, after being approached with Louise’s claims, the budget airline insists the group “un-checked themselves” from the flight.

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“One of my friends booked all of our flights,” the Tesco worker told the Manchester Evening News. “She booked it on the app and said she didn’t touch the app whatsoever. She didn’t get an email, message or notification to say we had checked out. If we had checked out and our boarding passes were invalid, how did we get through security?

“We tried to speak to [Ryanair staff] for a bit but they told us we weren’t getting on and to go back through the airport and go downstairs to speak to Ryanair customer services and sort a new flight. We think they overbooked the flight and because we were near the back of the queue, we landed unlucky with someone filling up our seats.”

Ryanair insists the party were “correctly refused boarding”. But the group’s situation worsened when they got to the customer support desk and were told they would need to pay £85.91 (€100) for a missed flight fee, Louise claims.

The charge would allow them to be put on the next available flight back to Manchester, which was at 10pm that night. One member of the group, who was sick at the time, decided to take the flight and was made to pay the fee, which Louise claims was then upped to £154.65 (€180) without warning.

A spokesman for Ryanair said the passengers were offered a missed departure fee of £85.91 (€100) which they declined. The remaining friends, all 19, chose to stay in Magaluf for an extra two nights and take a £42.96 (€50) flight home the following Tuesday.

“The customer service woman switched off her microphone behind the glass and threatened to call the police on us,” Louise added. “She was laughing and I turned around and said ‘You’re just being nasty, you’re just being unhelpful’. Our parents had to send us the money to allow us to stay there for the extra two days.”

Ryanair deny a staff member laughed at the party, turned their microphone off and threatened to call the police. Combining the new flight, hotel and food costs, Louise believes the group spent an extra £350 each.

She says the experience but a dampener on her first holiday abroad with her friends. “I was more upset about how poorly they treated us,” she added.

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