Budget airline EasyJet has revealed that passengers who check-in late are likely to be bumped off their planes. The airline made the announcement after a couple complained after they were escorted off a flight. The two, Manoj, 38, and Vidha, 35 were asked to disembark from an aircraft at Luton Airport while waiting to fly to Catania in Sicily, because the flight was overbooked. The couple claimed they had checked in online a day before the flight and made it to the departure gate before the final call was made.
Manoj and Vidha were made to vacate their seats even though other people had arrived at the gate later than them. On the other hand, EasyJet claimed the couple checked in late and was the likely reason why they were bumped off the flight, the incident coming 29 days after the airline first opened check-in for the flight. A spokesperson said: “The earlier a passenger checks in the less likely it is they would be selected.”
The airline however apologised to the couple for mishandling the situation but not for bumping them off the flight. EasyJet should have booked them on another airline to fly them to a different Italian city, booked them a hotel and helped them connect to Sicily the following day. Instead, they were only told that they would be booked on another flight in four days’ time, and so the couple had to cancel their holiday.
A recent study found that around 50,000 airline passengers are bumped off British flights every year. This, aviation watchdog said was caused by deliberate overbooking. The Civil Aviation Authority found that an average 0.02% of passengers travelling to and from the UK were forced off flights in 2015.The common practice attracted global attention when footage of a doctor being dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight, surfaced online. The passenger lost two front teeth and broke his nose in the violent incident, which caused widespread outrage, damaging the airline’s reputation.