Thursday, 23 June 2011

Ryanair sizzles passengers in Seville

SEVILLA (Agencies) An 18 month old baby needed treatment for dehydration and several adults fainted after Ryanair left the passengers on one of its flights on the tarmac at Sevilla airport for over two hours without air-conditioning last week. El Mundo reports that temperatures rose to nearly 50 degrees as the delayed flight from Sevilla to Pisa sat on the tarmac between 12.40 and 14.50 during the heat of the day. What’s more there were not enough bottles of water to go round, and so these were given only to the children. The captain told the passengers, only in English and Italian, that the compressor had failed, and that he was unable to start either the plane’s engines or the air conditioning. He said that if the steps were lowered they would lose their flight slot.>>>Canal Sur, the regional TV network, reported that one fed up passenger finally went to one of the front doors and opened it so some fresh air could reach the passengers, thus triggering the emergency ramp. This was the trigger for the others to make their way off the plane, and it was then that the baby’s need for treatment for dehydration was handled by an ambulance crew which was scrambled to the plane.

One witness said ‘They would not let us leave the plane or give us any water. The people were very upset, until finally one man opened the front door’. Another said that finally they gave out three or four bottles of water, but the stewardesses said that there was not water for everybody.

Spanish Airports Authority, AENA, said that the flight should have left at noon, and claim that the low-cost carrier took more than 45 minutes to ask for the truck which would eventually tow the plane back to the terminal. The use of the truck has to be rented from a third party company. AENA said they had handed out water even though it was not their responsibility to do so.

The passengers then remained in the terminal as the airline tried to repair the plane and eventually took off five hours late at 17.30.

Consumers Organisation FACUA on Friday denounced Ryanair to the consumers and air safety authorities for ‘putting the health of the passengers in danger’. They called for ‘exemplary fines’ to be enforced.

A statement from Ryanair on Friday, as reported by Cadena Ser but which has not appeared on the company’s website at the time of writing, has blamed a passenger for the delay to the flight from Sevilla to Pisa. They say the plane was unable to take off after the emergency ramp had been deployed by a passenger opening one of the front doors of the craft while they were working on repairing the plane.

They say the delay would have been only an hour due to a technical problem, but was extended by the passenger opening the door which meant that all the passengers were then obliged to disembark by the Captain. They note the plane cannot operate with the emergency chute deployed, and those responsible on board advised the police to handle the passengers ‘responsible for this disruption’. They describe the passenger as ‘insubordinate’.

The Ryanair statement ends with an apology for the delay and upset caused.

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