EasyJet has sparked outrage after asking passengers ‘not to fly’ because of faulty seats on their aeroplanes.
Earlier today (August 6), a photo of a woman sitting on a seat without a back went viral on social media, leading many to call out the airline for their lack of customer care.
The criticisms didn’t stop there though; this particular incident led others to come forward with their stories, with one person revealing passengers on a plane were asked not to fly because of the broken seats.
This morning, a picture posted online by Twitter user @mattiasharris showed a woman sitting down on a seat without a back while other passengers looked on.
Harris explained the picture had been taken on board flight 2021 from London Luton to Geneva, and shared his outrage at the fact this passenger was having to sit in the faulty seat.
Addressing the airline, Harris wrote:
#easyjet beats @Ryanair to have backless seats. @IATA @EASA this is flight 2021 Luton to Geneva. How can this be allowed.
— Matthew Harris (@mattiasharris) August 6, 2019
Within just a few hours, the tweet had gone viral, receiving more than 4.5k likes and 3.6k retweets at the time of writing – with many criticising the airline company for their lack of health and safety regulations.
Shortly after easyJet were notified of the tweet, their official Twitter account responded to thank Matthew for bringing it to their attention. However, they then asked him to remove the photo from social media before saying they could discuss the matter in private via a direct message.
Harris quickly refused, stating people needed to be made aware of the conditions passengers were expected to travel in, adding: ‘This is a real photo of a plane currently decending [sic] to Geneva’.
Absolutely not. This is a real photo of a plane currently decending to Geneva pic.twitter.com/BULiB4H3jt
— Matthew Harris (@mattiasharris) August 6, 2019
This response from easyJet angered many in the comments section, who described their reply as ‘disgraceful’ and said the airline should be ‘ashamed’ of how they were handling the situation.
Speaking to Sun Online Travel, Harris explained that his partner was flying from Luton to Geneva on easyJet flight EXY98HD when the woman was asked to sit in the backless seat.
He alleged ‘the flight attendant asked [the woman] to stay there until the flight was fully boarded,’ adding that the woman was then moved to a different seat for the flight.
The airline later confirmed in both a social media post and a prepared statement, no passengers were permitted to sit in the seats, as they were ‘inoperative awaiting repair’. They added: ‘Safety is our highest priority and easyJet operates its fleet of aircraft in strict compliance with all safety guidelines’.
I have the following update: No passengers were permitted to sit in these seats as they were inoperative awaiting repair. Safety is our highest priority and easyJet operates its fleet of aircraft in strict compliance with all safety guidelines. – Dan
— easyJet (@easyJet) August 6, 2019
EasyJet customers have been contended with ‘inoperative’ seats like these previously it seems; just last week, Phil Bradby was travelling to Berlin when he realised his seat had no back.
Phil was travelling with a group of six from Knockout LGBT Boxing Club on the flight – also departing from London Luton to Berlin last Friday (August 2). Two of the group’s seats were broken.
Speaking to UNILAD, Phil described the whole situation as ‘chaos’, saying the situation was only resolved when one kind stranger offered up his seat (and his place on the plane) to let he and his friends continue their journey.
We had backless seats also travelling Luton to Berlin with @easyJet Friday 2nd August. Caused chaos because the flight was full. Some nice guy gave up his seat so we could all fly! @easyJet_press @IATA @EASA @LucyConnolly1 @mattiasharris #easyjet pic.twitter.com/YYDrunZNns
— Philip (@pbradby) August 6, 2019
In this case, the seats did have notices on them advising passengers not to sit on them as they were inoperative, however Phil explained the airline hadn’t notified them of this beforehand and they had still been seated in them.
He explained to UNILAD:
It was chaos because the flight was full and we had to stand at the front and wait. Once they had counted the passengers, the pilot had to make an announcement to see if one person was willing not to fly and give up their seat.
One nice guy volunteered and got a round of applause from all the passengers. He got off and I think they agreed to give him some compensation.
Phil said the airline handled the situation ‘quite well’, but that didn’t stop the broken seats causing huge disruption.
UNILAD has reached out to easyJet for further comment.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).