Airport hits back at Ryanair after passenger in wheelchair was left behind
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An airport has responded after Ryanair accused them of failing to board a passenger in a wheelchair, causing them to be left behind.
Luckily, the mistake was realised, meaning that the plane was able to return to the stand and board the passenger after all, but it has sparked a disagreement between the airline and airport, who have both released statements parking the blame firmly with the other.
The carrier said that the airport did not provide the passenger with ‘the special assistance required’, and claimed that the crew of the plane were ‘misinformed’ when told that all passengers had been boarded.
However, the airport disputes this version of events, and has branded Ryanair’s statement as ‘defamatory’.
They place the culpability with Ryanair, who – the airport says – ‘decided to depart without taking its own customers into account’.
Flight FR 67000 was set to travel from Bordeaux to Edinburgh at 10:00pm on Tuesday evening, and taxied to the runway for take-off before the mistake was noticed.
The pilot returned the plane to the departure gate, where the passenger and her travelling companion were boarded.
Ryanair said it would work with Bordeaux Airport to make certain ‘this does not recur’.
The airline’s statement read: "It is unacceptable that Bordeaux Airport failed to provide this passenger with the special assistance required to board this flight from Bordeaux to Edinburgh despite Ryanair paying for this service.
"Not only did they fail to board this passenger, but they misinformed the crew on this flight that all passengers had been boarded when in fact this passenger had not, and the aircraft began to taxi on to the runway.
"Ground staff at Bordeaux Airport realised their error and notified the crew who returned to stand in order to board the passenger.
"It is abysmal that Ryanair customers requiring special assistance are being let down by Bordeaux Airport and we are working with them to ensure that this does not recur."
Now, Bordeaux Airport has released a statement of its own, calling Ryanair’s version of events ‘false and defamatory’.
A spokesperson said: "It should be pointed out that during all this time, the passenger remained under the responsibility of the airline organising her transport.
“The airport is simply an infrastructure operator.
"When boarding for the flight to Edinburgh began, all passengers were directed towards the aircraft by Ryanair's service provider.
“The passenger in the wheelchair and her companion were present in the boarding lounge at this time, visible to Ryanair staff and under their responsibility.
"When the support assistant took charge of the passenger and her companion to escort them to their aircraft, they realised that the Ryanair teams had closed the aircraft doors and the aircraft was moving."
LADbible has contacted both Ryanair and Bordeaux Airport for further comment.