AIR NOSTRUM has been slammed for turfing passengers off a Vigo to Madrid flight at the last minute to make way for a bunch of footballers.
The scheduled service transformed into a charter flight to take home Sevilla FC players and coaches after last Saturday’s match at Celta Vigo.
The La Liga side’s original charter plane could not be used due to a technical problem and they took over the Air Nostrum craft.
Passengers stood agog as they waited in line to board at Peinador Airport and were passed by the Sevilla FC squad.
One unhappy traveller fumed on social media, writing: “We are still at the airport with no word about the theft of the plane by Sevilla.”
The controversial decision by the carrier meant that 80 passengers had to make a 600 kms bus journey to Madrid lasting five hours, as opposed to the original hour-long flight time.
Passengers are reported to have missed national and international connections as a result of the enforced switch.
“This only happens in a banana republic where football is allowed to take everything and everyone by surprise,” said an irate traveller.
Air Nostrum apologised ‘profusely’ for the late switch and said it would be contacting all affected passengers to compensate them for the inconvenience caused.
Spain’s consumer association, FACUA, has reported Air Nostrum to the Galicia Consumer Affair’s department as well as the national Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
FACUA says the carrier infringed consumer protection laws, and it has also filed a complaint with Spain’s Aviation Safety Agency which has opened an investigation.