AN investigation is underway to find out how an Irish teacher managed to end up in Gibraltar after booking an EasyJet flight to Belfast.
Gemma Cargin, 25, took her flight from Manchester to Belfast, but woke up from her nap to discover she was over 1,500km from home.
Cargin, originally from County Down but works as a teacher in Manchester, was meant to fly the 168 miles from Manchester to Belfast to visit family, a trip that she takes regularly.
However as she arrived at what she thought was the right boarding gate, the screen displaying the destination were not working, leaving Cargin unaware that the aircraft was at a different gate.
EasyJet staff then scanned her ticket and allowed her to board the plane despite the fact it was travelling to an entirely different country.
Thinking it was only going to be a 40 minute journey, Cargin took a nap, waking up over an hour later dazed and confused.
“I woke up from my nap and I looked at the time, and I just asked: ‘When are we landing, are we landing soon?” Cargin told the BBC.
“They told me we were landing in an hour and fifteen minutes – and I said: ‘Is this flight not going to Belfast?”
One of her main concerns was that her parents were at Belfast airport waiting to pick her up, but she had no way of contacting them to tell them of the mistake.
“There was a lot of confusion. Mum was told I hadn’t made it on to the Belfast flight and she said her stomach just flipped, because I had texted from the plane to say I was on my way,” said Cargin.
She also explained that at one point, her parents were informed that she was on her way to Alicante, and plans were already being made to bring her home.
As soon as she touched down on the Rock, the teacher phoned her parents and explained where she was, taking a selfie in front of the iconic backdrop before organising her return journey.
Cargin was allowed to grab some air on the tarmac before returning to the aircraft back to Manchester before finally touching down in Belfast later that night, a detour of over 3,500km.
EasyJet are now looking into how Ms Cargin’s ticket was not properly checked as she boarded the wrong aircraft.
“We would like to sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.” said the airline in a statement.
“As soon as the mistake was realised, it was arranged for them to fly back to Manchester and on to Belfast, their original intended destination.
“Ms Cargin was looked after by our team throughout and provided with refreshments.”
After her 40 minute journey that turned into a 12 hour adventure, Cargin finally made it home, much to the relief of her parents.
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