Passengers were left stranded in an airport terminal – after a plane took off half an hour early.
About 20 passengers returning to Manchester from Warsaw Chopin Airport in Poland were left behind after the Ryanair jet set off at 11am – 30 minutes ahead of schedule.
The blunder was revealed on Chopin Airport’s Twitter page – with the airport tweeting: ‘Ryanair plane to Manchester took off ahead of time, leaving 20 passengers behind at the airport’.
Abandoned travellers eventually managed to get back to England thanks to airport staff, who found them seats on later flights.
It is understood that Ryanair normally flies from nearby Modlin airport – but had to temporarily switch to Chopin because of maintenance work at Modlin. Its three flights a week to Manchester from Modlin leave at 11am – but Chopin was unable to give them the same slot, meaning that the flights had to be pushed back to 11.30am.
But on Wednesday the budget airline took off at the old time of 11am – leaving behind some passengers who were not at the departure gate.
Affected passengers were helped by the airline and put on to other flights back to Manchester.
It is understood that Ryanair believed that all passengers had been told the correct boarding time by airport staff .
Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “Warsaw Airport (Chopin) is responsible for the accuracy of the information displayed on its customer service screens and it is each passenger’s personal responsibility to ensure they are at the departure gate before gate closure/final boarding, as per the times indicated on their boarding card. Over 140 passengers boarded this flight without issue and Ryanair assisted the small number of passengers who failed to show up at the departure gate on-time for their scheduled flight departure.” Ryanair said it would continue to use Chopin Airport instead of Modlin until January 22, when it would switch back to Modlin.