Pilot paid passengers to leave aircraft
September 17th, 2013 by elisa

It sounds unlikely, but an Easyjet pilot actually offered passengers cash to give up their seats on his flight.

He did so because he realised that the plane scheduled to fly from Gatwick to Bari in Italy was too heavy to get off the ground.

In order to lighten the load, he initially offered €250 per passenger, plus an overnight hotel, but no one took the offer. It was only until he upped the price to €400 each that four passengers voluntarily left the aircraft, reported the Daily Mail.

According to the paper, Flight EZY8365 from Gatwick to Bari was delayed on the tarmac for 50 minutes as the pilot negotiated with passengers. One passenger told reporters that the pilot had said unless there were volunteers, the last four passengers to check in would have to leave. When four passengers did eventually volunteer, there were cheers across the cabin.

The airline denies bartering took place over the amount passengers were paid, and that the reason he initially offered €250 was because he had been given the wrong information.

An Easyjet spokesperson said: “Volunteers are paid according to EU regulations which is based on the distance of the flight.

“Unfortunately the pilot was given incorrect information initially and so later corrected the amount the passengers were entitled to. No bartering took place.”

EU regulations state that passengers who are denied boarding are entitled to €400 for flights over 1,500kms.


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