An easyJet flight removed 19 passengers flying back to Britain from Lanzarote because the plane was ‘too heavy to take off’.
The flight from Lanzarote’s Arrecife Airport to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport was delayed due to the plane’s weight and poor weather conditions.
The plane was due to take off at 9.45pm on Wednesday but did not depart from the Spanish airport until nearly 11.30pm.
In a video filmed by a passenger, the pilot said: ‘Thank you all for getting here today. Because there are so many of you it’s a pretty heavy aircraft.
‘That heavy aircraft combined with a pretty short runway and with the current unfavourable conditions here in Lanzarote, means the aircraft is too heavy to take off. I’ve been sat with my senior first officer and we’re very experienced with this and have done this before.
In the video, passengers can be heard saying under their breath ‘I want to go home tonight’ and shaking their heads. The plane was due to take off at 9.45pm on Wednesday but did not depart from the Spanish airport until nearly 11.30pm
‘With safety as our number one priority, there is no way, with the current wind conditions, that we could get this aircraft airborne. There are a number of factors – it’s very hot, the wind isn’t fantastic, the direction isn’t great.
‘Now, you might be wondering what happens next and that’s what I’ve come in here to say. I have spoken with our operations team and the one way to solve a problem with a heavy aircraft is to make it slightly lighter.
‘If possible, I would like to ask up to 20 volunteers to choose not to fly to Liverpool tonight. If anyone wants to volunteer there will be an incentive. The current number we’ve been quoted by easyJet is up to €500 per passenger who is willing to not fly tonight.’
Passengers can be heard saying under their breath ‘I want to go home tonight’ and shaking their heads.
According to easyJet’s flight tracker, the delay was due to ‘poor weather conditions in Lanzarote’.
According to easyJet’s flight tracker, the delay was due to ‘poor weather conditions in Lanzarote’ (Stock image)
The flight tracker said it was due to depart at 9.45pm but did not leave until 11.24pm. It arrived at John Lennon Airport just after 3am yesterday.
A spokesman for easyJet confirmed to the Liverpool Echo that 19 passengers had volunteered to get off the plane.
They said: ‘easyJet can confirm that 19 passengers on flight EZY3364 from Lanzarote to Liverpool yesterday evening volunteered to travel on a later flight as a result of the aircraft being over the weight limits for the weather conditions.
‘This is a routine operational decision in these circumstances and weight restrictions are in place for all airlines for safety reasons. In the event that a flight would exceed weight limits, we ask for passengers to volunteer to transfer to a later flight free of charge which is what happened on this occasion and volunteers are provided with compensation in line with regulations.
‘The safety and welfare of our passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority.’