Given all the ticket checks you go through before you get on a plane it would be hard to imagine ever ending up at the wrong destination, but that's actually exactly what happened with an entire aircraft full of passengers this week.
Twitter user Barry Masterson was one of the many passengers on board a Ryanair flight from Dublin last night (16 September) expecting to be taken to Faro, Portugal for their various business and pleasure trips.
They all boarded the plane and settled in, but a couple of hours later they left the aircraft to find themselves in Malaga, Spain - approximately four hours drive and in an entirely different country from their intended destination.
Got on a @Ryanair flight to Faro and I'm in Malaga lads, you couldn't make this up 😂😭😭— Barry Masterson (@BarryMasterson) September 17, 2022
Announcing the baffling turn of events in a post on Twitter, Barry wrote: "Got on a @Ryanair flight to Faro and I'm in Malaga lads, you couldn't make this up."
Given that pilots are usually pretty clued up on exactly where they need to land their aircraft it's safe to say this wasn't a case of the SatNav going wrong - and Ryanair has confirmed as much. However, it's unclear whether the pilots made an announcement about the new plans, leaving some passengers entirely confused.
"Morale is low, some people are only just realising we're in Spain," Barry wrote. "Flight staff are trying to calm the crowd with the promise of the mystery box of answers that someone else will provide when we get in the airport."
We're on a 5 hour bus to Portugal now and we've stopped for petrol and pee stops within 5 minutes.— Barry Masterson (@BarryMasterson) September 17, 2022
I'm never getting out of here. 1 bus for 157 people, good luck to everyone we left behind 🥲 pic.twitter.com/p8W3TMpti9
In a statement to LADbible, Ryanair explained the disruption had been caused due to a strike by French Air Traffic Control, which meant the plane had to re-route.
A spokesperson said: "This flight from Dublin to Faro (16 Sept) diverted to Malaga having missed Faro Airport's curfew due to disruption from the French Air Traffic Control (ATC) strike, which was entirely beyond our control and impacted all airlines flying to/from/over France that day.
"To minimise disruption to passengers, Ryanair quickly arranged for a coach to transport passengers from Malaga Airport to their final destination. Ryanair sincerely apologises to passengers for the inconvenience caused as a result of this unjustified French ATC strike."
The strike action comes as a result of a row over wages and recruitment, and has resulted in large disruption for a number of airlines, including Ryanair, easyJet and British Airways.
Easy mistake to make pic.twitter.com/89uhZ4A5D0— Barry Masterson (@BarryMasterson) September 17, 2022
Many flights have been cancelled as a result of the strike, but Barry's went ahead, albiet with some adjustments.
The Twitter user continued to post updates about his situation, explaining that 157 people from the plane had been shuffled on to a 'five-hour bus' to Portugal before having to undergo a 'bus swap at the border'.
"The new bus driver is here sans bus. I'm getting coffee," he wrote. After finally getting to Portugal, he wrote: "We had to spend €55 on a taxi for the final leg of the journey, but I have now had a shower and I need food."
It definitely wasn't the straight-forward trip Barry had been expecting when he boarded the plane, but it's surely a flight he'll never forget.
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