Kieran Harris, a 21-year-old from Cheshire, had a journey to Alicante scheduled for May 25, 2023. However, his travel plans were disrupted when the low-cost carrier informed him via email the day before the flight that he had been blacklisted “due to previous disruptive behavior.”
The issue? Harris shares his name and birthdate with another individual who had been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison for aggressive behavior on an easyJet flight in 2021.
A mistakenly imposed 10-year no-fly sanction was supposed to last until March 15, 2031. Moreover, any future booking attempts by Harris would have increased this sanction.
The airlines do have the power to blacklist passengers, usually for reasons of disruptive behavior, safety threats, or serious violations of airline policies with the intention to ensure the safety and comfort of their customers.
“I was gutted. I couldn’t quite get my head around it,” Harris told the publication, “We’d booked the holiday a month ago and we even checked in online over a week ago, so there has been so much time for them to contact us.”
Eventually, the unlucky traveler was allowed to board the flight to Spain, after easyJet confirmed his identity with the passport picture. However, this confusion left him with just a couple hours to get to the airport.
“We are very sorry that Mr. Harris was incorrectly advised he couldn’t fly with us,” an easyJet spokesperson said. “Our team is in touch with him and will offer a gesture of goodwill in light of his experience.”