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Monday, 29 July, 2002, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Easyjet passengers stage sit-in
Easyjet plane
Passengers staged a sit-in after being asked to leave
More than 130 passengers have arrived at Luton Airport after staging a sit-in on an Easyjet flight in Nice.

Their flight had been due to leave southern France for Luton on Sunday at 2140 BST (2240 local time) but just before they were due to take off the pilot requested that they switch planes.

There was just general mayhem on the airplane

Passenger Heidi

An Easyjet spokesman said this was because a nearby plane - bound for Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris - had developed technical problems after its passengers had already been delayed three hours.

The pilot proposed using the Luton-bound plane for those passengers and a new plane would be sent from Luton for the Easyjet passengers.

But the Luton-bound passengers spontaneously decided to protest and refused to leave the plane, although about 10 of them did get off when they were asked to do so.

Impromptu protest

Speaking by mobile telephone to the BBC from the plane, one passenger, identified only as Heidi, said there was mayhem when the pilot suggested they get off the aircraft.

"All of the passengers on our flight protested," she said.

"There were chants of 'no, no, no' and 'everyone stay on the plane' and 'don't let them do this to us'.

"There was an impromptu sit-in protest and everyone refused to get off the plane."

"Frankly we have been horribly treated the whole time," she said.


She said that after paying 350 for what should be a discounted flight there were a lot of highly dissatisfied passengers on the plane.

But Heidi said the situation created a sense of camaraderie amongst the passengers who started singing songs despite sitting on this overheated aircraft with no refreshments.

"We have started a petition to senior management of Easyjet expressing our extreme displeasure," she said.

The mechanical problem on the Paris-bound aircraft was eventually fixed, allowing both planes to fly to their original destinations.

Have you ever taken consumer action to get what you want?

Your reaction

She threatened to do a striptease in the bus station

Steve M, UK
My 70-year-old aunt who suffered with arthritis missed a connection due to a delay but was told that she could not board the next bus because the empty seats were booked. She threatened to do a striptease in the bus station and would have done so had they not relented. However, she knew she was safe because she had put on two layers of clothes in order to reduce weight in her suitcase.
Steve M, UK

I once kicked up a fuss because my train to work left five minutes EARLY (yes you did read that correctly!) leaving myself and lots of other people stranded. In the end they got us all taxis.
Peter, UK

I once found that when returning goods to a high street electronics shop, it was necessary to stand outside the shop pointing out manufacturing faults in the equipment to passers by, persuading them to shop elsewhere. Perfectly legal and strangely effective. I was offered a full refund after 45 minutes of this practice.
Adam Higgins, UK

On an eight-hour bus trip and being rather tall, I had my legs over the front railing in order to rest. The driver rudely told me to put my legs down. Being passive aggressive, I pretended I was deaf and had to read his lips (to cut down on conversation) and told him I had a (made up) disease and had checked with the bus company for agreement that I could rest my legs. I was allowed to leave my legs there, but had to be careful not to engage any of the other passengers in conversations, since from that point on I was deaf.
Jason, USA

I didn't get any support from the other passengers

Robin Wickenden, England
I tried to do this when a train company terminated a service short of its booked destination and threw us all off to wait for the next one. However I didn't get any support from the other passengers. I'm not normally disruptive in this way, but sometimes it's the only way to get the point across.
Robin Wickenden, England

I recently booked myself onto a bus service to get me to the airport. It arrived twenty minutes late and was FULL. The driver informed me that I would have to wait another two hours for the next bus. I would have missed my flight so I told the driver he'd have to do something or I would stand in front of the bus to prevent him leaving. He told me to go ahead and within minutes was arranging a taxi to get me and a couple of other 'surplus' passengers to the airport. It proved that the driver could solve my problem with minimal effort. The moral of the story is if you've paid for something, make sure you get it and don't let them push you around.
Martin, UK

The BBC's John Sudworth
"The delay could have been much worse"





Are holiday hassles making Britons more assertive about complaining?No-frills revolt
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See also:

29 Jul 02 | Business
29 Jul 02 | UK
11 Jun 02 | Business
16 May 02 | Business
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