Polish Ryanair passenger flying home ends up 1,000 miles away in Malta after boarding wrong flight

An eldelrly passenger who thought he was flying home to Gdansk found himself 1,000 miles away in Malta when he landed. 

Pawel Lawreniuk, who had been visiting family in the UK over Christmas, was due to fly back on 6 January. But instead he boarded the wrong Ryanair flight at Leeds Bradford Airport.

The 75-year-old was allowed to get onto the flight and took his seat – but had no idea that he was not about to fly the 825 miles from Leeds Bradford Airport to Gdansk, but rather to the Mediterranean island of Malta almost 2,000 miles away. 

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The elderly passenger only realised he hadn’t landed in Poland when he struggled to get a taxi home from Malta International Airport, according to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus. He was told by a staff member at the information desk: “I am sorry sir but I don’t speak Polish.” 

Mr Lawreniuk was able to board a flight from Malta to Gdansk later that day, landing at home almost 14 hours after he set off.

His daughter Lucyna Lawreniuk, 34, who lives in Bradford, said that she double checked that the ticket said Gdansk.

“I cried, I was scared – he was in a different country, a different place. I don’t know how it is possible for him to make it all the way to Malta,” she added.

A Swissport spokesperson said in a statement: “We are aware that a passenger was able to board an incorrect flight at Leeds Bradford Airport on Sunday 6 January.

“”The passenger had undergone all airport security screening before boarding the flight and had a valid passport which had been checked. We are investigating how this occurred and we are re-briefing all staff on procedure. We would like to apologise to Mr Lawreniuk for the inconvenience caused.”

The Independent has contacted Ryanair for comment.

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