Cabin crew on a budget airline were forced to make an awkward announcement after their passengers had weighed down the plane so much that it couldn’t get off the ground…
Travel can be full of anticipated awkwardness — from a man urinating all over business class to a disgusting sock-stuffed seat, from a woman being publicly weighed in the airport to a hostess being beaten with an in-flight phone — but there’s nothing quite so humiliating as being told that you’re so heavy your plane literally can’t get off the ground. Unfortunately for passengers on one budget airline, that’s precisely the harsh reality that had to face at the end of their summer holiday.
U.K.-based airline easyJet recently found itself in a situation where it had to remove more than a dozen passengers from one of its flights due to the aircraft being “over the weight limits” and unable to take off. The incident occurred on Flight EZY3364, which was en route from the Spanish island of Lanzarote to Liverpool, England, earlier this month, as reported by Newsweek.
WATCH: A brave member of cabin crew makes the awkward announcement…
The awkward moment was captured in a viral video posted to TikTok by passenger Ryan Williams, which showed passengers being asked to disembark from the plane after it had been discovered to exceed the weight limits required for safe takeoff in less-than-ideal environmental conditions. Williams’ message that overlaid the clip read:
“Easyjet asked passengers to get off the plane as it was too heavy for takeoff.”Ryan Williams
According to a spokesperson from easyJet, a total of nineteen passengers voluntarily agreed to travel on a later flight after being informed about the weight restrictions. The decision to remove passengers was a routine operational measure to ensure the safety of the flight under prevailing weather conditions which, in combination with the facilities at Lanzarote airport, made takeoff extremely challenging. The airline emphasized that weight restrictions are in place for all airlines, not just their own.
The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) clarified that in certain situations passengers can be “asked or forced to give up” their seats on a plane, a practice commonly known as being “bumped” from a flight or “denied boarding.” This can occur when a flight has been oversold to account for potential no-shows or when “using a smaller aircraft than originally planned”.
According to the latest Air Travel Consumer Report published by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Delta Air Lines had the highest number of passengers who were voluntarily denied boarding between January and March this year. The report also mentioned American Airlines, Southwest, United, and Spirit, in the top five with the most voluntarily denied boardings.
What you should you do if you’re ever in this situation, asked to voluntarily disembark? Well, the CAA advises that all passengers who voluntarily give up their seats should agree on compensation with their airlines, which could come in the form of cash or vouchers. Volunteers are also entitled to either a refund or alternative flight arrangements. Whatever you do, make sure you get something back; your good grace should never go uncompensated…
In this particular case, passengers who were willing to disembark were offered compensation of “up to €500 per passenger,” as announced by the pilot over the plane’s PA system. Whether you think that curs the mustard is an entirely subjective issue. Many commenters on the video expressed their willingness to volunteer, considering it a chance to extend their holiday and make a quick buck. Others, however, were a little less sympathetic, finding the sudden change of arrangements extremely irritating.
They say “the sky’s the limit”, but clearly the sky has its own limits, measured in pounds and kilos. But fear not, these passengers turned an awkward situation into a chance to fatten their wallets and extend their time away. After all, when life gets a little turbulent, what could make for a smoother landing than €500 in your pocket?