Six-year-old boy ‘in tears’ after another passenger sits in his pre-booked window seat on flight - The Independent

2 months ago 30

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A six-year-old boy was left in tears after an “IT glitch” meant someone else was already sitting in his pre-booked window seat on a recent flight.

Ryan Bandli’s mother Adi had taken care to book her “very reactive” son, who struggles with flying, a window seat, which she said helps keep him calm.

Ms Bandli had booked the tickets for the late August flight with budget airline Ryanair’s Polish subsidiary, Buzz.

The family was flying from Budapest to Manchester after a holiday, before heading home to Stoke-on-Trent.

When Ms Bandli boarded the aircraft, she quickly saw a woman was sitting in the seat she’d reserved for Ryan. When she asked the other passenger about the mix-up, it seemed the woman had also been booked into the same window seat by Ryanair.

“Ryan likes to sit next to the window,” Ms Bandli told The Mirror. “It calms him down a bit and he likes to lean his head against the wall.”

She asked if the woman would consider moving for her son, but she refused.

Ryan was allocated an aisle seat by cabin crew, but his mother says he was left in tears and highly anxious throughout the nearly three-hour flight.

“Ryan was really upset and anxious and he cried,” she says. “He didn’t understand how this could happen. We sat separately and it was really stressful.”

“My poor child was crying. People gave him sweets and were so kind,” she added.

She says she had paid extra for three separate pre-booked seat reservations, costing between £15 and £30, as she knew Ryanair can separate families if they don’t reserve seating.

“How can something like this happen?” she said.

At first, Ryanair communicated with the family saying that Ryana had been swapped with an adult for the window seat because it was on an exit row; something that Ms Bandli refutes.

Eventually, Ms Bandli says Ryanair blamed a “computer glitch” for the mix-up, and said it has refunded the reservation cost.

A Ryanair spokesperson said: “This Buzz passenger’s seat was not sold twice; this misunderstanding was as a result of an isolated IT glitch. Unfortunately as the flight was fully booked, there were no other window seats available.

“Buzz regrets the inconvenience caused to Ms Bandli and her son and a member of our customer services team has contacted them directly.”

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