Easyjet apologises after passengers left stranded when flight takes off without them

An Easyjet flight which had been diverted to an airport in Portugal allegedly took off without its disembarked passengers, who had to travel by coach to their final destination.

The passengers, who boarded the flight from London Gatwick to Lisbon, had to disembark at Porto airport on Friday afternoon because the runway in Lisbon was closed.

File photo.

According to flight tracking website, radarbox24.com, the flight left Gatwick at 11.05am BST (British Summer Time) and landed in Porto just over two hours later at 1.11pm WEST (Western Europe Summer Time).

They were told they would get back on the plane after refuelling, but nearly three hours later they were told their flight had taken off for Lisbon without them.

The flight was recorded by radarbox24.com as leaving Porto at 3.52pm (WEST) and landed in Lisbon at 4.26pm (WEST).

They then had to get a bus provided by the airline to Lisbon.

Therefore, rather than arrive in just three hours after take-off from London, they got to Lisbon eight hours late.

Passenger Frazer Rendell told the Sun newspaper: "We got to the airport just after two o'clock and were sat there until 4.30pm until someone said your plane has taken off and has gone to Lisbon without you.

"Everyone was shocked that the plane had gone without us in the same condition that it arrived in. At 5.50pm, passengers boarded the coach and went to Lisbon."

A spokesman from easyJet told a UK radio station, Surrey Live: "easyJet can confirm that flight EJU8717 from London Gatwick to Lisbon on 12 April diverted to Porto due to the runway closure at Lisbon.

"Once in Porto the flight was subject to a slot constraint and so the decision was taken to disembark passengers for their comfort.

'The slot delay unfortunately caused crew to exceed their legal working hours limit so passengers were provided with refreshment vouchers and offered coach transfers to Lisbon.

"After customers had disembarked a slot became available and so the flight operated an empty sector to Lisbon to ensure it could operate later sectors.

"Although this is outside of easyJet's control, we would like to apologise to passengers for the inconvenience caused and thank them for their patience.

"The safety of its passengers and crew is easyJet's highest priority."

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