A seven-month pregnant mother was thrown out from an EasyJet flight after a flight attendant labeled her as "abusive" following her request for help in finding space for her bag in the overhead compartment. This incident resulted in EasyJet staff removing all passengers from the flight to Ibiza.
Siobhan Foster alleges that she, along with her husband James and their special-needs daughter, were removed from the flight from Belfast to the Spanish party island on August 19 after an air hostess, described as "grumpy," singled her out when she asked about the availability of overhead lockers. Foster later took to social media to describe her ordeal.
Harassment by Airline Crew
"I will NEVER fly with EasyJet again, I understand why people call them sleezy jet!" Foster, who was heading to her brother's wedding in the Mediterranean hotspot, wrote in a damning Facebook post.
Foster enquired with the flight attendant, who was not named, if there was "anymore space in the overhead lockers" and was told there was "clearly not."
"You'll need to find somewhere yourself even though there literally was nowhere," Foster claimed the attendant replied.
Foster alleges that when she asked for assistance due to her advanced pregnancy, the EasyJet employee reportedly responded by stating, "You're being abusive, and it's not my job to help you."
Another flight attendant apparently supported her colleague's stance, but Foster argued that crew members from other airlines have consistently provided assistance to her in similar situations.
"Writing this, I understand it would make you think was I being abusive, but I honestly wasn't and the whole plane can vouch for me," Foster wrote. "People were actually putting this on [Facebook] about how bad I was treated."
Foster eventually located a place to stow her carry-on but was soon approached by two more crew members who accused her of being aggressive. She stated that she chose to ignore them because she was "crying" and "so upset" at the time.
Moments later, Foster, her husband, and their disabled child were told that they would not be able to take their flight from Belfast that day as a result of the altercation. Consequently, they had to incur additional expenses, amounting to £1500, to fly from Dublin the following day in order to make it to her brother's wedding.
EasyJet later confirmed to MailOnline that all passengers were asked to deboard the plane owing to the situation. The vast majority of passengers were later reboarded and continued their flight to Ibiza.
However, in a detailed statement posted on Facebook, Foster claims that other passengers, including the wedding party she was part of, showed support for her during the altercation with the stewardess. She claims that as a result of this support, they were also removed from the flight.
"Every passenger on there was chanting to get this air hostess of who, in fact, said she was the manager," Foster wrote. "Everyone went back inside and 3 police cars arrived it was like something I've never experienced before, then me, my husband, brother and mums name was called out over the [speaker] to come to Gate 8."
After deboarding the plane, the family was met by a group of eight police officers and two Swissport employees. They were informed that, according to the airline's decision, they would not be permitted to reboard the flight, as per Foster's account.
Foster said that they were subsequently escorted out of the airport by police, and they had to endure a three-hour wait to retrieve their checked baggage.
"So, that whole day we were in Belfast airport from one lunchtime to nine that night with our child, my legs were so swollen and sore with being on them all this time I was crying uncontrollably that this was happening to us for no reason whatsoever.
"I'm so traumatized to the point I don't know how I'll ever fly again," she wrote on Facebook.
An EasyJet spokesperson, as reported by Daily Mail, has denied any wrongdoing and contended that Foster's family was "behaving disruptively" during the incident.
"EasyJet's cabin crew and ground agents are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time.
"The Captain took the decision to ask all passengers on the flight to return to the terminal so the situation could be resolved and as soon as it was they re-boarded and the aircraft continued to Ibiza."
Foster mentioned that the plane was delayed for at least four hours. Additionally, a new crew had to take over because the original crew had reached their maximum allotted working hours.
The Foster family eventually reached Ibiza the next day, allowing them to make it to the wedding on time. They managed to secure a Ryanair flight out of Dublin to reach their destination.
"Thankfully we got to Ibiza and made my brother's wedding to say how stressed, upset and overwhelmed I've been I honestly think I've no words," she wrote.
"EasyJet should be ashamed of themselves and I most definitely am taking this further, I'm still in shock of how we were treated especially being seven months pregnant and having a disabled child with us."