Easyjet has called for any passengers who have been removed from overbooked flights without being offered compensation to come forward, after it emerged a couple were ordered off a flight last week.
The incident at Luton airport took place the day after a United Airlines passenger was violently dragged off an airliner in the US.
The British pair were due to fly to Catania in Sicily and had boarded the plane, but were then asked to leave because the flight was overbooked.
The circumstances were very unusual and resulted from a manual error
It meant the passengers, who had booked non-refundable accommodation, ended up cancelling their six-day trip.
They had been told the next available Easyjet flight was four days later, however EU rules demand that passengers are offered a flight the same day with another airline, or compensation.
Easyjet said the passengers should not have been cleared to board and admitted that its staff had not provided the correct information.
The budget airline said it was “genuinely sorry” for the incident and would be providing extra training for staff.
Why are airlines such as @EasyJet getting it so wrong with bookings, or over bookings. It's becoming a joke. Simple lesson. Boycott them.!!— Darren G (@chelskidaz) April 17, 2017
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said: “Passengers are entitled to a minimum level of compensation and must be offered an alternative flight, or re-rout, at the earliest opportunity or at a date that suits you, or offered a full refund, if the passenger no longer wants to fly.”
Easyjet said the circumstances had been “very unusual and resulted from a manual error at the gate”.
“Whilst the passengers were emailed a link to the web page for EU261 compensation applications and the website clearly outlines our policies, we accept that our agents could have pointed this out more explicitly,” a spokesman said.
Lawyers for David Dao, the passenger who lost two front teeth and suffered a broken nose during his treatment by United, has said he will “probably” sue the airline.
United Chief Executive Oscar Munoz said he Felt “shame and embarrassment” about the incident.