A couple who inadvertently bought fraudulent easyJet flights say they felt “like criminals” when they were denied boarding at the airport.
Kenny Rainford and wife Marie Rylance booked tickets to Alicante, where they have a villa, via an Instagram page called Half Price 365522, which the pair claim they thought was above board.
Mr Rainford of Wallasey, Merseyside, said a friend had recommended the company having already used it successfully, reports the Daily Mail.
He transferred £200 for the cut-price tickets and received the itinerary “straight away”.
When Mr Rainford asked how the tickets were so much cheaper than those advertised by easyJet, he was told the company bought flights in bulk to sell on at a discount, which he “didn’t think was unusual”.
However, when the couple attempted to catch their flight at Liverpool John Lennon airport, staff stopped them from boarding the aircraft.
They were told to stand to the side and wait, before being directed to customer services.
It emerged that Half Price 365522 had cloned someone’s credit card to fraudulently purchase the flights. The victim had alerted their bank and easyJet had refunded them and cancelled the original booking.
As well as not being allowed on the flight and losing out on £200, at the time the couple had the impression that they had been banned long-term from flying with the airline.
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“We have been made to feel like the biggest criminals,” said Rainford. “We feel victimised.”
However, easyJet has made it clear that no ban has been issued and that it is investigating the incident.
The carrier said in a statement: “Mr Rainford and Miss Rylance’s booking was cancelled after the cardholder for their booking told their bank the transaction was fraudulent and so the booking was refunded.
“Because the passenger’s names were on a suspected fraudulent booking, we require proof of the fraudulent transaction in order that they don’t encounter issues when flying with us in the future.
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“A member of our customer team is in touch with the couple to resolve the matter with them so they will be able to fly with easyJet in the future.
“We would always advise passengers to book directly with us at easyJet.com, not through third party websites.”