A SHOCKED passenger has told how she was waved through three security checks and flew to Spain from Bournemouth Airport without a valid ticket.

The woman and her husband travelled to Malaga with Ryanair on the wrong day but said numerous opportunities to spot their mistake were ignored by airport staff and cabin crew.

She only realised they were on the wrong flight after take-off despite their boarding passes showing as "invalid" when scanned at the airport.

  • They were waved through the first security checkpoint despite boarding passes coming up as "invalid" when scanned
  • Gate staff then allowed them through despite "invalid" displaying again
  • Cabin crew checked boarding passes and allowed them to remain on the plane despite other people sitting in the seats marked on the boarding passes

The couple flew to Malaga and left the airport despite having no valid tickets to get there

The Ringwood woman, who does not wish to be named, told the Daily Echo they were travelling to Spain for one night to sign documents because they are buying property there.

She said: "We were supposed to be flying on Wednesday September 5 but I had it in my head that we were going on a Tuesday so we were a day early.

"When we got to the airport the tickets showed as "invalid" but the person at the security check said we could go through anyway.

"When we got to the gate it happened again but the person there just said there must have been a mistake and waved us through."

She said she and her husband boarded the flight and had seats in different rows.

"When I got to what I thought was my seat there was someone sitting in it" she said. " It was only going to be a two-hour flight so I didn't make a fuss and just sat in a different seat.

"My husband then walked up from his row and said the cabin crew wanted to see the boarding passes because there was someone in what he thought was his seat.

"They checked the boarding pass and again said there must have been some kind of mix-up and told him to sit in a different seat."

It was only as the flight took off that the woman spoke to a passenger sitting next to her and they compared boarding passes.

"She noticed that our passes were for the next day and I was absolutely horrified" she said. "I didn't know what to do - I was nervous - but we got off the plane and found some accommodation for the night."

The couple then contacted Ryanair who attempted to charge them £200 each for travelling on the wrong flight.

When they contacted Bournemouth Airport they were referred to handling agents Swissport.

"The woman I spoke to there just asked if we were out of pocket for the accommodation. It seems like everyone is trying to cover it up" she added.

Bournemouth Airport is owned and operated by the Rigby Group which purchased it from Manchester Airports Group last December.

An airport spokesperson said: “This is extremely serious and we are investigating as a matter of urgency.

“We are undertaking an inquiry, including liaising with Ryanair, Swissport and any other relevant companies, in order to prevent anything similar happening again.

“Once we know the full facts, we will be in a better position to comment further. Meanwhile, for the reassurance of passengers, we have immediately introduced further additional security and other measures to prevent a re-occurrence.”

Responsibility for airport security is shared between airport owners/operators, the carriers and their handling agents.

The Rigby Group is owned by Sir Peter Rigby (pictured above). The company also operates a number of other airport including Exeter.