30 July 2002

Easyjet passengers revolt over delays

By Nicole Martin

Passengers on an Easyjet flight from Nice to Luton staged a sit-in after being told by the pilot to disembark just before take-off.

All but 10 of the 134 passengers ignored the instructions to get off so that the jet could be used to fly delayed holidaymakers to Paris. These people had been kept waiting for three hours because their plane had developed technical problems.

The pilot of the Luton-bound jet told his passengers that another plane would be sent from England to pick them up. But the proposal was met with shouts of "No! No! No!"

One passenger said: "All of the passengers on our flight protested. There were chants of 'Everyone stay on the plane!' and 'Don't let them do this to us!' There was an impromptu sit-in protest and everyone refused to get off."

The mechanical problem on the Paris-bound flight was eventually resolved, allowing both planes to fly to their original destinations. Passengers arrived in Luton early yesterday, almost two hours later than expected.

A spokesman for Easyjet said: "We were treating the interests of all our passengers as a priority rather than just one flight. We wanted to make sure everybody got home last night.

"In the end, all passengers reached their destinations, but unfortunately they were delayed."