We boarded Ryanair ‘flight to Barcelona’… but woke up 1,300 miles away in LITHUANIA: Amputee and his wife describe ‘unbelievable’ mix up at Bristol airport before enduring mammoth two-day trek to Spain

We boarded Ryanair ‘flight to Barcelona’… but woke up 1,300 miles away in LITHUANIA: Amputee and his wife describe ‘unbelievable’ mix up at Bristol airport before enduring mammoth two-day trek to Spain

  • Andrew, an amputee, and Victoria, who is autistic, both fell asleep on the flight
  • When they woke up, they realised they were landing in the wrong country 

A married couple set off to fly to Spain on holiday – only to wake up landing 1,350 miles away from their destination in an airport blunder.

Andrew Gore and wife Victoria were due to spend a week on the Costa Brava with friends and family to celebrate his 47th birthday.

They had booked Ryanair flights to Barcelona, but the couple – who had special assistance tickets – were instead ushered onto the wrong Ryanair plane, unknowingly kicking off what would be a 2,750 mile, two-day ordeal for the unlucky couple.

The special assistance teams at Bristol Airport took them to the jet before it flew off on its way to Kaunus in Lithuania – very much in the wrong direction for Spain.

Andrew, an amputee, and Victoria, who is autistic, both fell asleep on the flight and woke up to find they were in the wrong country – and not with their family.

Andrew Gore and wife Victoria were due to spend a week on the Costa Brava with friends and family to celebrate his 47th birthday, but they ended up 1,300 miles away from their destination after a blunder at the airport resulted in them being put on a plane to Lithuania

‘I asked the air hostess if we could sit together as I’m scared of flying,’ Victoria, who is also 47, said. ‘She checked our boarding pass again and put us in the second row,’ 

‘We have been away lots of times and always had special assistance, so this was nothing new to us. The minibus took us to the Ryanair plane and they checked our boarding pass and let us on the plane.

‘We didn’t see our family getting on, so asked if they were on board, and were assured they were.

‘We had a couple of drinks, then went to sleep as we had been up early. As we landed, it was very clear we were in Lithuania.’

She added: ‘I was distraught, and scared. I didn’t stop crying. It was my worst nightmare.’

The couple from Mountain Ash, South Wales, had to make a 150-mile Uber journey across the border to Riga, Latvia, so they could then fly onwards to Spain.

The special assistance teams at Bristol Airport (pictured) took them to the jet before it flew off on its way to Kaunus in Lithuania - very much in the wrong direction for Spain

Rather than their chosen destination - Barcelona, the couple woke up to find they were landing in Lithuania - 1,300 miles from their Spanish destination. Pictured: Vilnius, Lithuania (file)

They told the crew and when the pilot was alerted he became ‘furious’ at the mix up and demanded staff to help them with their onward journey.

But because there were no direct flights between Kaunus and Barcelona they had to make the 150 Uber journey the following day to catch a flight to Spain.

However when they landed in Barcelona they learned their bags had been removed from the original flight because they had not got onboard and had to wait a further two days for luggage.

Victoria said the couple paid more than £1,500 for the package holiday with Sunshine.co.uk and flew on May 25.

Victoria said: ‘I’ve heard of suitcases going to the wrong place, but not people. In this day and age, there are so many checks. How could it happen?

‘They looked at our boarding passes so many times. It’s unbelievable.’

Ryanair blamed the mix up on ABM who provide special assistance at Bristol Airport.

As there were no flights from Lithuania to Barcelona, the couple had to take an 150-mile Uber trip to Riga in neighbouring Latvia (pictured, file photo) and fly to Spain from there

A spokesperson said: ‘These passengers booked special assistance for this flight from Bristol to Barcelona, but the ABM agents boarded them onto the wrong flight to Kaunas despite gate signage clearly displaying the flight’s destination.

‘Upon arriving at Kaunas Airport, these passengers notified the crew that they were on the wrong flight and Ryanair immediately arranged for both passengers to be reaccommodated on the next available flight to Barcelona, which was scheduled to depart Riga Airport the next morning.

‘As these passengers did not board their flight to Barcelona, their bags were removed from the aircraft in line with standard safety procedures.

‘When it was realised that these passengers had been misrouted and were rerouted to Barcelona, their bags were rushed from Bristol Airport to Barcelona.

‘We sincerely apologise to these passengers for any inconvenience caused as a result of ABM’s error, and have assured that they will be fully compensated by Bristol Airport.’

Andrew, an amputee, and Victoria, who is autistic, both fell asleep on the flight and woke up to find they were in the wrong country - and not with their family

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A spokesperson for Bristol Airport said: ‘We’ve worked with our business partners to investigate this incident.

‘All customers have their travel documentation checked by the airline or their ground handling agent before boarding an aircraft.

‘Since being informed of the issue, Bristol Airport has worked with our airline handling agent and special assistance provider to investigate the circumstances and to introduce improvements for the future.

‘We will contact the customer with information to direct their complaint to the correct business partner for resolution.’


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Chris Jewers

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