Enraged Passengers Refuse To Leave Plane

A group of French tourists refused to leave the plane for four hours after it landed in protest of how they were treated.

The plane was supposed to have landed near Paris and left 3 hours late.

“The plane didn’t land in Beauvais but in Liege without warning us. Consequently, we refused to leave the plane,” one of the passengers told AFP.

The crew left the plane in the dark with the bathrooms locked and the cockpit door open. Only after intense negotiations did the passengers agree to disembark and get on buses that took them to their original destination.

Seems les vaches are uprising.

Furious Ryanair passengers protest in plane [AFP] (Thanks to Brandon Savage!)


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  1. deathbecomesme says:

    Awesome. See, thats how its done America. Show the big business you mean business and they cant ignore you if you group together. Cost of that plane just sitting on the tarmac lit a fire under their arses Im sure.

    • DanRydell says:

      Yeah, no. They did not have the right to do what they did. If that had been done in the United States they probably would have been forcibly removed from the plane and arrested, and that response would have been appropriate.

      • peebozi says:

        and it would have still made the news…and it would have still cost the corporation $…and it still would have brought bad PR upon the offending airline…and all of the charges would have been dropped.

      • Bladerunner says:

        Actually, I would argue that they DO have that right. Now, whether the government would agree is another matter entirely.

        Let me draw you an analogy: You get in a cab and ask to be taken to the Opera House. Instead, you’re taken to the docks, where a bunch of shady looking guys in trenchcoats are cracking their knuckles in the shadows. Does the cabbie really have a right to say “well, get out,” and forcibly eject you? Or would he be in the wrong, since he did not take you where you originally agreed?

        The plane was diverted because the flight had been delayed so long that the airport was closed. They weren’t advised this was going to be the case. They landed in a different COUNTRY for goodness’ sakes. I fly from London to the US, but the plan lands in Cuba? I’m not getting off the plane.

        • AI says:

          If they offered you a few days stay in the Royal Hicacos in Veradero you’d be a fool not to get off the plane. That place is awesome.

        • Kitten Mittens says:

          Except for the dark dock and criminal elements, the analogy isn’t far off:

          The distance from Liege, Belgium and Beauvais, France is about the same as Havana and Miami. However, there’s a big difference between landing in Cuba and the United States, unlike two E.U. cities. It would really be more like landing in DC instead of NYC.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Seems a little more like the French penchant to go on strike rather than the American method of calling a lawyer while you race off the plane.

    • common_sense84 says:

      In america, arrest is guaranteed if you tried this.

      • Aphex242 says:

        Land of the free!

      • JennQPublic says:

        And tazed!

      • Bagumpity says:

        This actually happened in America once. I forget the company name, but back in the late 90’s there was a budget airline that flew 737’s on the Orlando-Greensboro-Trenton-Boston line with three or four jets daily. They each flew that route, turning around at the ends and going back. Well, they got so behind in payments to the Greensboro municipal airport that they were refused any more jet fuel. The pilots knew this prior to landing, so when they pulled up to the gate the pilot announced on the intercom that the crew had to be swapped out before the next leg, and would they please stay put so that the new crew could assist with disembarking. Then the pilots and stewardesses literally RAN off the airplane and out the jetway.

        The passengers waited for the new crew to show up. And they waited. And they waited. Eventually, the Greensboro passengers got off the aircraft. The Boston and Trenton passengers stayed put (as they had been told) for about another half hour, then someone from the airport came on board to say there were no people from the airline left in the airport so the aircraft wasn’t going to Trenton or Boston. They were about to disconnect the external power and tow the aircraft away to make room for other flights- time to make your own arrangements, folks!

        That didn’t sit well with the passengers, so they refused to leave the aircraft, insisting that it make its final two stops. The airport rep tried to reason with them. Even if they could get gassed up, they didn’t have a flight crew! The passengers weren’t buying it. Things got ugly. Then the airport sheriff came on board and told them “folks, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. The easy way, you get to exit the plane with your carry-on luggage. The hard way, you get to exit the plane with a pair of nylon handcuffs. Your choice.”

        They took the easy way. One of the big-name airlines was kind enough to supply baggage handlers to get the checked luggage out of the hold (it was later sued for “theft” of cargo by the company that handled the receivership, no good deed unpunished). Folks made it home however they could. Buses, one-way rentals, bummed rides, whatever. The airline went into receivership and basically faded away.

        The budget airline business was like the wild west back in the 90’s. I flew with that airline dozens of times, and I never knew what to expect. One thing they NEVER did was divert the aircraft or fly a go-around even in the worst fog or windiest weather. I remember one landing in Trenton where I did not see the ground out my window until well AFTER the landing roll. Based on the direction we took to the terminal, I figured out what runway we must have landed on, and then I asked a pilot friend to look up the rules for approaches to that runway. There weren’t any that allowed landings with 0-0 (zero ceilings, zero visibility) weather. Basically, they just decided “the instruments say there should be a runway here- set her down, Chuck!” Those were some scarey times. Never paid more than $50 round trip, though. And I’ve lived to tell the tale.

    • exconsumer says:

      Indeed. Real protests rely on the power of the people to intimidate transgressors into doing the right thing, regardless of what the law might or might not say. The likelihood of getting arrested is irrelevant. The fact that they were delivered into a completely different freaking country is what gave them the right to make consequences for RyanAir. Not the law.

  2. momtimestwo says:

    They must have looked pretty stupid sitting on the plane in the dark.

    • maubs says:

      In the dark, all passengers are French.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      I sat on a dark plane for 30 minutes in Seattle last week. We were diverted on our way from LAX to NRT due to a medical issue with a passenger. We sat on the tarmac for an hour before they killed the engines, which also subsequently killed the cabin power. Good thing my cell phone has a flash which works well as a flash light so I could follow the flight attendants around and help.

    • dourdan says:

      i have traveled in europe; for the time the spent int he airplane they could have been in france via bus.

  3. Alvis says:

    Occupying a plane until your demands are met? Lucky they didn’t get shot.

  4. benbell says:

    This story in the USA:

    “A group of tourists are in Federal Custody after refusing to leave a plane”

    • phixional-ninja says:

      And… I read that as “a group of terrorists.” Which is probably what the headline would actually be.

      • PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

        I read that the EXACT same way; it wasn’t until you said it that I realized I had misread.

    • pop top says:

      More like: “Members of a France-based terrorist cell were killed today after they hijacked a plane on the tarmac and made demands.”

      • crazedhare says:

        Agreed. That’s exactly how it’d be spun, except that SOMEHOW a TSA backscatter would have saved the day, if only it had been used.

  5. Darrone says:

    I gotta hand it to the French, well done. And i love how they just lock up and leave. TSA would have a swat team in there taking naked pictures and groping peoples junk.

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      I lol’d, well done sir or madam

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      PLEASE – warn a person before being the cause of that person spewing their diet coke all over their keyboard and monitor!

  6. Admiral_John says:

    La Resistance!

    • BobOki says:

      Remember remember the 17th of November, the tarmack, no power, no plop. I see no reason why the french traveling season should ever have to stop…..

      • AnthonyC says:

        This vessel, no mere veneer of voyaging, is the visage of the vox populi, not vacant, nor vanished. This valorous visitation of a by-gone vacation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.

  7. zibby says:

    If only they had shown the same steely resolve in…no, I’d better not.

  8. savvy9999 says:

    So long as they left the beverage cart, I’d be a happy camper.

    I’d also probably leave a, um, “captain’s log” somewheres in the cockpit… :)

  9. Poisson Process says:

    This is what democracy looks like!

  10. dolemite says:

    People dump on the french, but their people know how to protest.

    • polizzi82 says:


    • JulesNoctambule says:

      One thing I miss about living in France is the ability of any group of pissed-off people to bring pretty much anything government-run to a screeching halt until things gets fixed. Yeah, having multiple transport strikes as a morning surprise that meant we had to either bribe a friend with a car or walk to class on a cold morning sucked for us, but if it meant that people weren’t going to be screwed out of something that was rightfully theirs then we could get behind it. The rights and freedoms gained didn’t end at the picket line.

      • RxDude says:

        “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.”

    • obits3 says:

      French Corporation:

      You have two cows.

      You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

  11. obits3 says:

    I think I know a guy with a $25 fee who would love to meet these people.

  12. Lollerface says:

    Cockpit was left open? Steal the plane.

  13. CaughtLooking says:

    The pilot should also have informed them they would have to work longer until reaching retirement age.

  14. Blueskylaw says:

    The French Underground Resistance is still alive and well. I wonder if they helped the pilots to return to their units so that they could continue to fly.

    Vive la Résistance! Vive la France!”

  15. RxDude says:

    This place sucks! I’m not leaving!!!

  16. Macgyver says:

    What the hell do you want them to do?
    It left 3 hours late, and the destination airport was closed.
    So what were they supposed to do, fly into a closed airport?
    So you were inconvenienced a little, so what.

    • Marlin says:

      Did you miss the part that they did not even tell them or give them a option.

      Also it seems they were not offered tranportation till they stayed on the plane.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        Macgyver neither knows nor cares about these pissy little details. The OP is ALWAYS to blame in Macgyver’s world. He believes that any business whim should always triumph over any consumer’s needs, every single time.

        • minjche says:

          I’m beginning to think this Macgyver character is trolling on purpose. No one person could be this naturally stupid across such a wide range of issues and Consumerist articles.

          We’re on to you Macgyver. We’re on to you.

    • Amnesiac85 says:

      Did you miss the part where the plane landed in a different country?

      • Macgyver says:

        Did you miss the part where it said the airport was closed?
        This was probably the closest airport to their destination that was still opened that late.

        • KyBash says:

          The pilots/company knew the airport would be closed by the time they arrived, and they failed to tell the passengers in advance of the screw-up.

          There were other airports closer to the destination that were open, but the company decided to take them to the place with the lowest landing fees.

        • Doubts42 says:

          did you miss the part where they were delayed in Taking off and therefore should have been able to figure out their flight time and the arrival airport’s closing time. This is a simple 6th grade math problem.
          Plane A leaves station1 and travels at x miles per hour…..

    • theycallmeGinger says:

      Oh, Macgyver, we can always count on you to blame the OP, no matter what the scenario. Unless, of course, you are ever the OP — then it would be anyone else’s fault! Your comments are way too predictable. Boilerplate, almost! I’m not sure you realize what this site is about…

    • LanMan04 says:

      What, do they roll up the runways and put them in a shed after they close?

      Land on airstrip. Get off plane. Grab a taxi. The end.

    • runswithscissors says:

      Given them some kind of heads up about the situation, apologies, vouchers, and comfy buses to their final destination?

      Oh why am I bothering? Every damn article you blame the OP and side with the corporation.

  17. Portlandia says:

    Locked the bathrooms?

    Big, woop, that’s SOOO easy to bypass. The little steal plate on the door that says “Lavatory” (Pretty universal) flips up. When you open it, just slide the latch to unlock the door.

    Voila, bathroom access.

  18. Talisker says:

    Man, the lengths people will go through to avoid Belgium.

  19. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    I don’t understand what would’ve happened if they’d just disembarked as normal – wouldn’t the airline have been responsible for transporting them to their original location anyway, just as they did when they finally DID come out?

    If that is the case, then what did this accomplish, other than them sitting in a dark plane for 4 hours longer than they needed to…?

    • satoru says:

      Since this is Ryanair, notorious low fare airline, they probably just landed in Liege and said screw you to the passengers.

  20. zantafio says:

    Not only they landed in a different city, they landed in a different country! Liege is in Belgium.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      To be fair, though, it’s not like getting from Florida to Canada. Liege to Paris is about a 4 hour car ride. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have complained, but it’s not nearly as far as you seem to make it out to be. “Different country” is only a big deal if you happen to be very far from the border.

  21. Froggmann says:

    “Furious Ryanair passengers protest in plane”

    Well gee, that’s all the explanation I needed.

  22. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    The landed over 200 miles away in a whole different country. That’s like landing in Toronto instead of Rochester, or Tijuana instead of Bakersfield.

  23. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Well its Ryan Air, are we really surprised here?

  24. TerpBE says:

    A group of French tourists crowded into a plane for 7 hours with no air conditioning or bathrooms? I can’t even begin to imagine the smell.

    • Daverson says:

      L’arôme de Paris

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Most of the older generation is not quite as kept as us, but the yungun’s are no different that us in cleanliness. But there is the old joke about us American’s being OCD on cleanliness also.

      • theduckay says:

        “But there is the old joke about us American’s being OCD on cleanliness also.” To be honest, based on people I encounter every day, we probably are. haha

    • cspirou says:

      You think fat americans would smell much better? Did I just use a false stereotype?

      • AnthonyC says:

        No, your stereotype is true. Americans are, usually, fat. I am American, and the child of 2 Americans who are, by any objective measure, obese.

        I cannot speak to the validity, or lack thereof, of French stereotypes.

    • RxDude says:

      One bar of soap or stick of deodorant thrown down the aisle could have cleared that plane in a jiffy.

  25. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Well its Ryan Air, are we really surprised here?

  26. Bodger says:

    Hell, if every plane passenger who was badly treated by an airline refused to leave the plane then every plane in the world would grounded in short order and there wouldn’t be any opportunity for the airlines to screw a new batch.

    BTW: if the restrooms were locked and the cockpit was open then I know where I’d be relieving myself when the need arose.

  27. cys_av8r says:

    Where was all that fighting spirit in WWII?

  28. sopmodm14 says:

    well, its a peaceful protest, they all cleared screening, so there would’ve been no weapons aboard in essence

  29. Emily says:

    Ah, the French.

    Can’t quite see staying on the plane as a form of protest, though. Something about it is essentially counter-message.

  30. RogueWarrior65 says:

    “We hate to be rude but…we’re French.”

    Don’t want to leave the plane? Knock yourself out. Stay there as long as you like. We’ll just wheel the plane over to some forgotten part of the airport that looks like it was built in the 50s and shut off the power.

  31. kmw2 says:

    Refusing to get off a Ryanair flight? That’s unusual, generally everyone’s mobbing the door.

  32. PsiCop says:

    These people flew Ryanair. They were lucky there were any working lavs to begin with, not to mention seats in the plane, or even a pilot to fly the thing. If Ryanair could possibly get away with it, they’d just stuff a few hundred people into a shipping container, put it on a mammoth catapult, and shoot it into the air and at its destination … and then not care if it came down where it was supposed to or if anyone survived the crash.

  33. DragonThermo says:

    That’s the difference between Americans and the French. Americans want to spend as little time on an aircraft as necessary, and if they are delayed they want compensation. The French will find any reason to stay on an aircraft.

    When airplanes were sitting on the tarmac for 8 hours waiting to take off, who were complaining? Americans. Who were not complaining? The French.