Ryanair plane lands in Spain instead of Portugal after missing airport curfew

The plane was diverted to Spain after missing the airport curfew for its intended destination. Photo / Unsplash

Ryanair passengers have blasted the airline after a flight landed in the wrong country.

A recent Ryanair flight from Dublin was due to land in Faro, Portugal. However, when it landed, the passengers were not in Faro. In fact, they weren’t even in Portugal.

Instead, the plane landed in Spain, more than 400 km from its intended destination.

According to a passenger, the flight was delayed in Dublin and departed on September 16 at 1am, an hour before Faro airport curfew. An average non-stop flight from Dublin to Faro takes three hours.

The flight was forced to divert to Malaga in Spain, where 157 passengers had to take a five-hour bus ride to the Portuguese destination.

Several passengers took to social media to express their frustration, saying the crew would have known the plane would not arrive before curfew and should not have left.

Irish traveler Barry Masterson said some people took a while to realize they weren’t in Portugal.

“I flew @Ryanair to Faro and I’m in Malaga guys you can’t make this up,” he wrote.

“Moral is at rock bottom, some people barely realize we’re in Spain.”

Masterton kept his followers informed throughout the trip and claimed he had to spend an extra €55 ($93) on a taxi for the final leg of the trip.

He suggested that Ryanair knew they would not arrive on time after a long delay.

“Our best guess is that Ryanair knew we could never land in Faro because our flight was delayed so long that the airport would be closed before we did. So they lied and flew us to Spain so as not to have to reimburse everyone.” he wrote.

Aileen Marron, who was also on the flight, agreed.

“Shameful service from Ryanair, who never intended to take us to Faro, we now know that the airport closed at 2am, we took off just before 1am Portugal time,” wrote -she.

While Masterton’s original tweet caught the eye, people pointed out that the plane should have landed in Seville instead of Malaga, as it’s much closer to Faro.

A Ryanair spokesman apologized to passengers and blamed a strike by French air traffic control (ATC). They claimed the strike affected the departure time, which meant that they either did not leave on time or did not reach Faro before curfew.

“This flight from Dublin to Faro was diverted to Malaga after missing the Faro airport curfew due to the disruption of the French Air Traffic Control (ATC) strike, which was entirely beyond our control and affected all airlines serving/from/over France that day,” they said.

“To minimize disruption to passengers, Ryanair quickly arranged for a coach to transport passengers from Malaga airport to their final destination.

“Ryanair sincerely apologizes to passengers for the inconvenience caused as a result of this unjustified French ATC strike.”

Hundreds of flights were halted following the one-day ATC strike on September 16. Nearly half of the flights due to arrive or depart from Paris airports or use French airspace have been grounded according to Reuters.

The strike was linked to demands for more staff and wage increases.

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