Passengers aboard a Ryanair flight from Malaga to Milan endured a nightmarish ordeal on July 19 as the aircraft’s air conditioning system malfunctioned, leaving them trapped in sweltering 42˚C heat. Disturbing footage showed passengers fainting and suffering panic attacks, prompting ambulances to be called to the scene. The flight, operated by Malta Air on a Boeing 737-800, was delayed for nearly 12 hours, leaving travelers in distress and discomfort.
Footage was shared of the crew trying to calm down the passengers, as people were getting desperate trying to resist the hot temperature inside the aircraft by fanning themselves. After about three hours, passengers were given the okay to disembark the hot aircraft.
Marco Ferraro, an Italian influencer who was on board of the aircraft, shared on his million-followers TikTok account a video of the flight situation that has gone viral. Calling it “the worst flight of my life”, the TikToker added: “At one point I seriously thought that I could no longer breathe and that something was happening to me”.
They let us off the plane only after three hours with 42 degrees outside and no air conditioning. Someone passed out, others had panic attacks, an ambulance was needed.Marco Ferraro, Italian influencer
Ferraro revealed that passengers received minimal assistance from the airline, with the crew not having enough water bottles for everyone when they started giving them out after the first hour. According to the influencer, the lack of air conditioning turned the plane into a stifling sauna. The “air conditioning didn’t work because it was connected to a second motor which was discharged – it was like being inside a sauna but with the door locked”, he added. Moreover, passengers could’t even access the bathrooms, as they were “clogged with people with panic attacks”.
Ryanair attributed the delay to a “minor technical issue” with the aircraft. While engineers serviced the aircraft, passengers were kept inside “to avoid missing the flight’s take-off slot”, stated the airline. However, Rynair added, “Unfortunately, the aircraft was not cleared for service in time and missed the slot and passengers were disembarked”.
It wasn’t until 12 hours after the set departure time – the 10 am flight left at 10pm – that the passengers were able to reboard safely and fly to Milan. In order to cool down the plane before passengers could re-board, the crew requested another airport stand, since Malaga Airport’s air conditioning was not working at the stand they initially had the flight positioned at.
The airline is facing severe criticism for its treatment of passengers, the Codici Consumers Association, which sets the standards and guidelines for various industries, having started an investigation into the airline’s actions. “We demand answers from Ryanair and also rapid and concrete interventions to compensate those who have experienced this mishap,” the association’s Ivano Giacomelli told Italian media.