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Furious Ryanair passengers miss flight to Croatia after being locked in Stansted corridor

Both ends of a walkway were locked, passengers said, as the plane to Zagreb took off without them on Monday – with their bags on board.

They were eventually rescued after pulling the fire alarm when their screams and attempts to get staff attention by banging on the walls proved futile.

Ryanair said “human error” led to the incident, which they described as “regrettable” although one customer said there has been no apology.

Devina Raval told MyLondon that preparations had been in order but things began to look unusual when passengers were led down a corridor where they waited for fifteen minutes.

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The 33-year-old said: “The door at the front of the corridor was shut, we had been waiting for them to open, expecting that we’d then be taken to the plane from there.

“With people starting to panic we decided to go back to the door we came through to ask the staff what the hold up was, but we found that that door was also locked.”

“People were banging on the walls calling for help, it felt like we were being held hostage or something,” she added.

“There were kids crying and the whole place became really claustrophobic. I dread to think what would have happened if someone had a heart attack or something.”

After half an hour the fire alarm was pulled but Ms Raval said that staff appeared surprised to see that they were in the corridor. Passengers then spent hours trying to work out what was happening. Some families were reportedly split up, with some on the flight and some left behind, while at least one missed a job interview.

Ryanair provided affected passengers with overnight accommodation and moved them onto the next available flight – which was at 6am the next day.

“The worst part was that we didn’t get so much as an apology, everyone was absolutely furious,” Ms Raval added. “The whole thing has been so stressful.”

A Ryanair statement said: “Due to a human error by handling staff at London Stansted Airport, a small number of passengers could not exit the pre-boarding area doors and regrettably missed their flight to Zagreb.

“The error was soon realised however the flight had already departed.”

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