Airline blunder leaves woman with 25-minute holiday

Allison Yee
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

It was the perfectly thought out 30th birthday present Mairéad Sweeney was planning to surprise her boyfriend with – flights to Lisbon for three romantic and relaxed days away.

Instead, the 24-year-old was left fuming after the $463 flights she booked with Ryanair back in January, were cancelled, with the budget carrier offering up an outrageous solution instead.

Mairéad’s surprise trip for her boyfriend was ruined after Ryanair booked them on different flights. Photo: Getty

While Mairéad had originally booked flights from Glasgow to Lisbon, arriving on September 27th and leaving on the 30th, Ryanair’s solution to a cancelled outgoing flight was to place the couple on one arriving on the same day as their departure date.

Mairéad’s new flight had her arriving at 8.30pm, just 25 minutes before her scheduled flight home.


“Classic Ryanair – cause everyone dreams of a 25min holiday in Lisbon, absolute joke,” she tweeted alongside details of her new flight.

To make matters worse, Mairéad was so upset about the airline fail, she ended up coming clean to her boyfriend and ruining the surprise.

“You wouldn’t even be able to disembark the aircraft in that time,” she told the Sun Online.

“I bought the flights as a surprise for my boyfriend’s 30th, he had no idea.

“I had to tell him what had happened, I came home from work and I burst into tears.”

The budget carrier booked the couple of flights arriving less than an hour before they were meant to depart. Photo: Getty

Mairéad claims she was forced to name and shame the airline on social media, after her attempts to contact the company over email and phone were unsuccessful.

Since then, Ryanair have issued a statement to the Sun Online explaining the reason behind the changed flights, and how they’re currently in the process of refunding Mairéad’s tickets.

“Due to commercial reasons, this route from Glasgow to Lisbon has been reduced from two services per week to one service per week from September 2018,” the spokesman told the publication.

“This customer was automatically moved to the next available flight on this route (Sunday) and was advised by email of this route reduction and her options to accept the flight change, request a full refund or move for free to an alternative date/route.”

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