Family’s easyJet holiday ‘wrecked’ when airline made crucial boarding mistake

Latest round of strikes by easyJet pilots in Spain has no effect on Malaga airport

Image of an easyJet aircraft. Credit: EasyJet media

A family’s holiday was “wrecked” when airline easyJet made a crucial mistake, recording them as being denied boarding.

A family’s holiday was “wrecked” when easyJet made a crucial mistake, recording them as being denied boarding, taking their luggage off the plane.

Leigh Husband and his wife Irene Garcia Santos flew from Bristol to Lisbon with their toddler Antonio to go to a family wedding.

They checked in on Friday, September 24, handed over their luggage and car seat at the easyJet check-in desk, and planned to drive from Lisbon to western Spain by car after the flight.

The couple filled in their Passenger Locator Forms but did not think they had to fill one in for Antonio, 2.

However, when checking in they were given a form to fill in for the toddler and then went through security as normal.

Leigh said: ”We were pushing Antonio in his pushchair and when we got to the bottom of the steps to the plane, I carried him up the steps, and a guy with the ground crew took the pushchair and put it with the rest of the luggage to go on the plane.”

When the family landed at Lisbon Airport, they waited an hour for luggage that was never to turn up.

They contacted easyJet only to be told that the airline had removed their luggage, car seat and pushchair from the plane.

Leigh and Irene were furious when easyJet said it was because their systems had flagged up that the family had been “denied boarding” at the time they were settling down on board the plane.

Leigh said: “I phoned up easyJet and said ‘we’re in Lisbon, can you send on our baggage?’ and they said ‘no you weren’t on the plane, you were denied boarding, your boarding passes weren’t scanned, so we took your stuff off the plane.’

“We had no idea. Looking back, they were more concerned with making sure everyone had their Passenger Locator Forms than they were actually checking us in and scanning our boarding passes, and they said we never boarded, but we did, we flew on the plane and we’re here in Spain.

“I’ve had an email from easyJet saying ‘sorry you didn’t get your flight’, and then another email asking if we’ll be getting the return flight. It’s really concerning.”

Leigh is now concerned about safety on planes, considering staff did not check whether their seats were actually empty.

“There are Civil Aviation Authority rules about knowing exactly who is on every flight. If that plane had to make a forced landing or we all had to be evacuated or something, they wouldn’t have looked for us, they thought we weren’t on board.

“The captain of that plane should not have taken off because they had a list of people they thought were on the plane and we were on the plane but not on their list.

“Why, when they got the order to take our stuff off the plane because they thought we weren’t on it, didn’t they check our seats? They would have found us sitting in them.”

Leigh and Irene were forced to buy a car seat and pushchair in Portugal, and have been left without any of their belongings.

Leigh said: “My wife is seven months pregnant at the moment. All our stuff for the wedding, suits, dresses, presents and so on, was in our luggage so we didn’t have that for the wedding on Saturday and we have the clothes we came in.

“I’ve lost luggage before – once I flew back from New York and the airline managed to get it to me in Bristol the next day. This is different. easyJet have refused to send it to us because they said we are not out here, when we did fly on their plane. In Spain we’ve got nothing, and over the weekend they were not even saying when or even if they will send over our luggage.

“I’ve been on the phone to easyJet a lot, obviously, and one woman was questioning that we were really in Spain. She said their records showed that we had been denied boarding, and hadn’t flown, but we did – we were on that flight. That’s really worrying, that that could happen.

“It’s been four days now and they called again on Monday to ask what the address is we’re staying at. So hopefully it will all be sent over, but we have plans to go to another address this week, and what do we do? Everything is wrecked, the wedding and our trip so far.”

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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at