A row over an incident involving a passenger on a Ryanair flight to Edinburgh has intensified after a French airport accused the airline of making a “false and defamatory” statement.
Flight FR 6700 from Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport to Edinburgh Airport was delayed by over two hours on Tuesday evening after a wheelchair-bound passenger was ‘left behind’ at the gate.
The plane had begun to taxi onto the runway ahead of takeoff,when the error was discovered.
Ryanair blamed the airport for the “abysmal” error, and said that staff failed to provide the passenger with the special assistance required “despite Ryanair paying for this service”.
The airline also claimed that airport staff “misinformed the crew” that all passengers had been boarded, and said it would work with Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport to ensure that such an incident “does not recur”.
Bordeaux-Mérignac have since refuted Ryanair’s account of what happened and accused the airline of making a “false and defamatory” statement about it.
The airport said that the passenger had in fact been under Ryanair’s responsibility, and that it was the airline who had allowed the plane to depart without the passenger and their companion.
A Bordeaux-Mérignac spokesperson said: “It should be clarified that throughout this time, the passenger remained the responsibility of the airline which organized her transport. The airport is only an infrastructure operator. When boarding for the flight to Edinburgh began, all passengers were directed to the plane by Ryanair's service provider.
“The passenger in a wheelchair and her companion were present in the departure lounge at that time, visible to Ryanair staff and under their responsibility.
“When the escort assistant took charge of the passenger and her attendant to accompany them to their plane, they realized that the Ryanair teams had closed the plane doors and that the plane was moving.”