Couple forced to sleep outside airport for not having Covid test they didn’t actually need

Ryanair passenger claims airline forced her to sleep in a storm

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Ryanair passengers were refused boarding on their flight back to the UK from Rome’s Ciampino airport. They had no choice but to sleep outside in a thunderstorm.

A Suffolk woman and her partner were trying to get home from the Italian capital last week and had a flight booked with Ryanair to London Stansted.

With a valid locator form and fully vaccinated, Becky MacInnes-Clark did not think she would have any problems boarding her flight.

Unfortunately, Ryanair ground staff insisted she needed a negative Covid test taken in the previous 48 hours to travel back to the UK.

This rule was scrapped by the Government in October.

READ MORE: Essex seaside resort named one of the best – ‘hidden gem’

Fully vaccinated passengers no longer require a negative Covid test.

While Becky tried to explain she did not need a test, the staff member was adamant and would not let her board her flight.

She was told to speak to information as there wasn’t anywhere she could get a test at the airport.

At the information desk, the couple was told to get a taxi to a pharmacy.

The taxi cost 60€ return.

However, Becky and her partner had no choice and were taken to a pharmacy where nobody spoke English and their taxi driver had to ask for their test.

He “managed to get the test done for us instead of queuing and took us back”, Becky said.

The tests cost 30€ each.

But by the time they got back to the airport, their flight had left.

When going to the Ryanair desk, they were told to book a flight for the following morning, at a cost of 288€ (£244).

In total, the couple paid over £300 for tests they did not need and new flights home.

Their budget did not extend to a hotel for another night.

They asked for some money towards accommodation or the taxi, but “the Ryanair rep walked out and locked the door of the booth”, said Becky.

Police asked the couple and other passengers to leave the terminal at 11pm.

They were not allowed back in until 3.30am and spent the night outside, in a bus shelter.

When boarding their flight the next day, they weren’t asked for a pre-departure Covid test result.

Becky shared a message for Ryanair on social media while she was waiting outside in a thunderstorm.

She said: “I didn’t expect to be sleeping in a bus shelter because your agents here decided we needed a Covid test from Italy when we don’t.

“it’s all over the Government website that we don’t, but they wouldn’t listen.

“So aren’t you lucky. You’ve got another 270€ out of us plus other expenses and we’re sleeping in a bus shelter and hopefully getting on a flight with you tomorrow because we don’t have any other choice.

“I hope you’re all sleeping well in your beds. We aren’t.” has contacted Ryanair for comments.
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