When you’ve just landed after a long-haul flight, the last thing you want is to board a bus for another leg of travel. Imagine how the passengers of this Ryanair flight felt when their plane from London, bound for Greece, landed in Romania instead and were told to catch a bus the rest of the way to Greece. The plane was supposed to arrive in Thessaloniki, Greece, by 10:00 PM, but fog at the airport caused a diversion. Normally the plane would land in Skopje, the nearby Macedonian capital, but instead, flight FR8582 landed at the airport in Timisoara, Romania, where transport to Greece isn’t exactly straightforward. Needless to say, the 200 passengers weren’t impressed.
Close to the Hungarian border, Timisoara is nearly 500 miles from Thessaloniki. While it might not sound like the most sensible or convenient landing spot, Ryanair does have a base at the Timisoara airport, making service recovery easier. Passengers and their family members expressed their outrage via Twitter.
@BBCBreaking My parents & 200 passengers of FR8582 @Ryanair from LDN to SKG have been stranded in Timisoara airport due to weather. No one in sight and no one answering phones. Babies and elderly spending the night in the cold. Please publish in order for @Ryanair to act tonight.
— Sanji A Hewson (@HewsonSanji) January 5, 2019
#Ryanair abandoned 200 people from London Stansted to Romanian airport. The flight FR8582 was originally going to Greece and got rerouted. The people are abandoned in Timi Soara Airport without being given any alternatives. The airport staff is forcing them to leave.
— Christina (@Christine_Kyr) January 4, 2019
Besides sleeping at the airport overnight, the only option Ryanair offered their passengers was an 18-hour bus ride to Thessaloniki. Eighty-nine passengers refused to board the bus, which was reported to be in poor condition, choosing instead to spend the night at the airport. Ultimately, the Greek government sent an Aegean Airlines plane to rescue the passengers, which arrived in Thessaloniki nearly a full day later than scheduled.
This latest incident probably won’t help boost Ryanair’s standing in the airline community. Ryanair was recently voted the worst UK airline for the sixth year in a row, and when surveyed, 90% of respondents (7,901) said it was the one airline they would never travel.