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07th Apr 2022

British couple get on wrong Ryanair flight – go 800 miles in wrong direction

April Curtin

‘It’s not like getting the wrong bus – we literally ended up in a different country!’

A couple got a little surprise when they boarded their flight back to the UK after a day-trip to France only to realise they’d actually got on a flight to Spain by accident.

Elise Mallia, 33, and partner Jessy Jezequel, 41, spent a day and night in Marseille to watch the local football side take on Nice.

Returning to the airport on March 21, they headed to what they thought was the correct gate and had their boarding passes scanned. The couple then boarded the Ryanair plane thinking they were heading back to Stansted.

However, an hour into the journey, they heard the flight attendant announce they would soon begin their descent… into Madrid. That’s a whopping 800 miles from where the pair were expecting to land.

View of Madrid, Spain

Mallia, an estate agent from Fulham, said: “An hour into our flight, Jessy said he thought he heard a flight attendant say Madrid, but we thought he had dreamed it.

“But after that we started realising all the flight attendants were speaking Spanish.”

They asked flight attendants who then confirmed they were heading to the Spanish capital.

“We were baffled and so were the flight attendants,” Mallia said.

The couple were completely confused as to how staff failed to notice they were boarding the wrong flight – despite checking their tickets, which clearly stated London as the destination.

“We had our boarding passes scanned three times before boarding – they assumed the passes were wrong, but they weren’t.

“It’s not like getting the wrong bus – we literally ended up in a different country!”

They were going completely the wrong way (Credit: SWNS)

The pair quickly alerted Ryanair staff as soon as they touched down at Madrid. Luckily, they were put on another flight and arrived back in London after a mega detour.

What made the flight mix-up even funnier, is that Mallia said she swore she saw ‘Madrid’ on the neighbouring gate to theirs before boarding the return from France.

She recalled making a joke to her partner that they should continue their holiday and go to Spain instead of returning to London. Little did they know, this would actually end up being the case.

Thankfully, the pair made it back to Fulham – only five hours later than planned.

The couple claim they have been unable to get in touch with Ryanair since the incident – and are still perplexed by how it happened.

A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “Mr. Jezequel and Ms. Mallia boarded their flight from Marseille to London Stansted through the correct gate.

“However, these passengers then failed to follow the allocated route to the aircraft departing for London Stansted, crossed an unauthorised area and wrongly boarded a flight departing to Madrid. Both passengers were able to occupy the same seats they had booked for their original flight, as this flight was not fully booked, thus not alerting them to their error at this time.

“An announcement advising passengers of their final destination and estimated time of arrival is made before every flight departure – which should have alerted Mr. Jezequel and Ms. Mallia that they were on the wrong aircraft.

“Upon arriving at Madrid Airport, these passengers then realised their error and Ryanair staff were notified of these misrouted passengers. Mr. Jezequel and Ms. Mallia were accommodated on a flight from Madrid to London Stansted later that day.

“It is each passenger’s responsibility to ensure they board the correct aircraft.”

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