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Passenger claims ‘No face masks, no social distancing, my journey to Spain was flight from hell’


Stock image: Flight

Stock image: Flight

Stock image: Flight

A passenger on a plane from Dublin Airport to Spain described the experience as a “flight from hell” after a group of around 50 people were “celebrating” without social distancing or masks.

Michael, a caller to RTÉ Radio 1’s Liveline, yesterday explained that on his business trip he spotted the crowd at the bar before they boarded the same flight as him and his brother.

The group of around 45 or 50 people were of mixed ages, ranging from children to adults in their 50s and 60s, as well as some young adults.

“When we did our check-in, walking down towards the gate we noticed a group of about 50 people in the bar,” Michael told listeners.

“Pints, gin and tonics, vodka, no social distancing, no face masks,” he noted.

“It was kind of surprising.

“I said to my brother, ‘I hope they’re not on the plane we’re going on.”

However, he was in for a rough journey after the group boarded the same Ryanair flight to Malaga. “It was like a flight from hell… I do a fair bit of flying and I have never seen anything like it.

“It was chaos, the whole thing. They wouldn't wear masks and had brought alcohol on plane.

"It was horrendous,” Michael explained.

He said the group would not be seated and had little regard for social distancing or face coverings. “They took things off the trolley and wouldn't pay for them,” he said. “They were told, the captain came on the loudspeaker, the intercom, ‘please sit down…’

“I spoke to one of the flight attendants and she said it was the worst flight she was ever on.”

He said that the group started “scrapping” on the plane and “were not comfortable”.

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“The whole aisle was blocked up most of the time, the people did not take their proper seats.”

In a statement, Dublin Airport said that “fewer than” 3,000 passengers travelled through the airport yesterday and that this is a decline of 95 percent in comparison to last year.

Food and beverages are sold in the airside area to the “very small number of people who are travelling”

“There are only two bars operating in general areas after security as the third is after the US CBP area which means you need to be travelling to the US to access it,” the statement said.

“Operators of food and beverage outlets require anyone purchasing alcohol to also purchase a substantial meal at a cost of €9.”

The statement added there are more than 1,000 hand sanitisers and that “all facilities and services throughout Dublin Airport are deep cleaned and regularly disinfected throughout the day”. It also noted that there are “thousands” of signs reminding air travellers of social distancing.

Face masks are also mandatory inside the airport and the spokesperson added that “there is an element of personal responsibility” when it comes to coronavirus protocols.

Ultimately, as is the case with all Covid-19 rules and guidelines throughout the country, there is an element of personal responsibility when it comes to adhering to the clear advice that is in place.

Ryanair was contacted for comment.

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