Janine Hadley, Ryanair Passenger, Threatened With Arrest

09/14/2011 10:20 am ET | Updated Nov 14, 2011

A female Ryanair passenger was allegedly threatened with arrest when she refused to vacate an overbooked flight Sunday.

Janine Hadley, 27, was on a flight from Faro, Portugal to Manchester, England when an announcement over the PA system asked her to make herself known to the flight crew. After doing so, she claims she was ordered to leave the plane, reports the Daily Mail.

Hadley wasn't told why she was chosen to be asked to leave, and says she was threatened with arrest if she didn't. She spent an hour arguing for her spot on the plane, supported by other passengers, but was eventually warned that the police were on their way to remove her from the flight, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Soon thereafter, another announcement was made offering €300 to any passenger who willingly bumped themselves from the flight. A man accepted the offer and the plane took off with Hadley on board.

“It was the most uncomfortable hour of my life. I was told I was holding the entire plane up and they tried to intimidate me but I refused to give in," she said. "I will never fly with Ryanair again. It was very distressing."

Hadley complained to the airline Monday. The overbooking turned out to be the result of a mix-up.

Apparently one family had booked a flight, claiming their child was an infant, which could have flown on an adult's lap. But it was later realized by Ryanair that the child was more than two years old, meaning it legally needed its own seat.

“Our handling agents, rather than offloading a family group of six people, wrongly attempted to offload Ms Handley, as they believed she was the last to board the aircraft,” an official told the Manchester Evening News.

Ryanair has apologized to Hadley, saying the incident violated airline procedures as Ryanair has a policy of not overbooking flights.

Photo: Tom Raftery/Flickr

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