An EasyJet passenger refused to leave a shuttle bus at Bristol Airport for over half an hour following a row over the size of his cabin bag.
Norman Matheson ended up in a standoff with airline staff when he was told his carry-on bag was too large during an attempt to board a flight from Bristol to Glasgow
Speaking to Bristol Live, Norman said he had used the same bag during flights on a number of occasions without any issue until his luck finally ran out.
He told the publication he’d flown to Bristol to attend his father-in-law’s funeral but hit a problem on the way home. ‘I wasn’t expecting any issues when I rolled up at the gate to scan my boarding pass,’ he said.
‘He (a staff member) looked at my bag, said it was too large and I had to pay £49. My ticket only cost £50. I told him that this was the fourth time I had used the bag on an EasyJet flight as I’ve travelled with the bag before from Glasgow to Gatwick Airport.’
He said that the staff member said there was no proof and asked him to put his bag in the size-checking bin, but it would not fit horizontally. Mr Matheson said: ‘I asked him if they could waive the fee and put the bag in the hold.
‘It was an emotional time. There were no issues with the bag on previous flights, I was just looking for a bit of empathy,’ he said. He asked to speak to a manager to make a formal complaint.
He spoke to two managers who both agreed with what the staff member had told him. Norman said: ‘I just walked onto the bus. I decanted my bag into a shopping bag, but was told I had to go through the gate again,’ he said.
Norman said he refused to leave the bus and security was called. The other passengers were taken off and boarded a new bus to take them to the plane. Norman claims that when all the other passengers had left, the security called him a ‘tw*t’.
The police were called, during which time Mr Matheson said he remained seated on the bus, refusing to move or hand over his boarding pass. He said: ‘The police escorted me off the bus and I became emotional and tearful.’
Admitting that his bag was ‘marginally bigger’ than EasyJet’s baggage requirements, Norman said: ‘It was a horrible, horrible experience. I had the funeral the day before for my father-in-law, it was a tough day and emotionally quite rough.
He took trains back to Glasgow, which cost him £150, but he said it was ‘not about the money but the principle’.
‘There is no humanity left in the world,’ he said after his return home.
Norman’s bag measurements were 50x35x23cm. EasyJet’s baggage requirement for bags being taken onboard is 45x36x20cm.
A spokesperson for EasyJet said: ‘Our ground crew must ensure that customers’ cabin bags are within the maximum dimensions to safely and securely fit where they need to be stowed in the cabin.
‘We clearly inform customers of maximum cabin bag dimensions when booking, via email before they travel and it is also clearly displayed on boarding passes.
‘Mr Matheson’s bag exceeded the maximum dimensions and as a result of their disruptive behaviour, was met by police and was not permitted to travel. We do not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour towards our staff and the safety and wellbeing of our customer and crew is easyJet’s highest priority,’ said the spokesperson.
EasyJet confirmed the flight was delayed, but not the time of the delay. A Bristol Airport spokesperson referred Bristol Live to EasyJet, but said it would investigate for any further information.
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