A BRITISH girl was denied boarding an EasyJet flight in Majorca after being picked for “involuntary offloading” from the overbooked plane.
Little Chloe Meacock, three, was on a Thomas Cook package holiday with her parents and 18-month-old sister in Spain.
When the family got to the airport to catch their flight back home, her mum claims staff told her Chloe may not fly because they hadn’t checked in online.
Thomas Cook had advised parents Claire Quick and Chris Meacock to check in before arriving at Palma airport for their trip back to Liverpool but they weren’t able to.
Claire said things were moved around so it was Chris who was the “overbooked” passenger.
However, once everyone had boarded and there was an empty seat, he was allowed to board the plane.
Claire told the Independent : “When we got to the airport they told us that because we hadn’t checked in online they had re-sold Chloe’s seat and that she might not fly.
“Then the check-in manager rejigged things so that it was my husband who was overbooked.”
The family faced yet another problem after boarding the plane; Chloe was given a seat on her own at the back away from her parents.
The crew then had to switch passengers around so the family could sit together, as stated by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules that families with young children should be seated together.
As a scheduled airline, EasyJet can sell more tickets than available seats on the plane but they must ask for volunteers before offloading people.
An EasyJet spokesperson told Us
Although Ms Quick and her family travelled on their flight, we are sorry if it was not communicated clearly at Bag Drop that volunteers would always be sought at the gate if sufficient seats were not available.
“We are looking into this with our ground handling partners at Palma Airport.
“Once onboard the cabin crew arranged seating together for the family and also provided complimentary refreshments for them.
“We do our best to look after young families, including providing regular and specific information encouraging them to check in online as early as possible so they can be seated together before arriving at the airport.
“We also send this information to third party bookers, including Thomas Cook and ask them to share this with customers.”
Thomas Cook said it has asked EasyJet to look into how Chloe was slated for involuntary offloading.
A Thomas Cook spokesperson said We are very sorry that Mrs Quick and her family experienced this issue on their return flight and have asked easyjet to look into what happened.
“Thomas Cook has a contract in place with easyjet to supply seats on certain routes for package holiday customers, so all of our customers should be permitted to travel and should not be overbooked.
“All Thomas Cook customers travelling on easyjet are asked to check in online prior to travel.”