A recent Ryanair flight turned into a nightmare for dozens of passengers who were injured after the lost cabin pressure, leaving some "bleeding from their ears, mouth or nose."
The flight from Dublin to Croatia made an emergency landing in Frankfurt last Friday and 33 of the 189 passengers aboard the flight were transported to a hospital after suffering from headaches, ear pain, and nausea. All 33 were discharged by Saturday morning.
One passenger wrote on Facebook that the air had suddenly gone cold and oxygen masks had dropped from above as the plane dropped "3,000 meters in less than one minute.” Ryanair has stated that after the plane experienced "in-flight depressurization," the flight crew deployed oxygen masks and "initiated a controlled descent," which was "in line with standard procedure."
Minerva Galvan Domenech, from Spain, told Spiegel Online that the passengers, many of whom were bleeding from their ears, mouth or nose, were forced to wait 45 minutes before being allowed to abandon the aircraft. Meanwhile, Sarah McGarry told The Irish Times that her eardrum burst during the drop but she chose not to seek treatment since she was afraid of missing the next flight to Croatia.
"We’re flying and next of all the oxygen mask comes down, we’re left in darkness for 15 minutes, there’s no reassurance just people shouting ‘emergency, emergency,’” she said. “There was a newborn baby and children on the flight, people are screaming and we don’t know what’s going on for 15 minutes. Then finally we’re told that we’re going to Germany.”
Conor Brennan also told the Irish Times newspaper, “The airport staff and Red Cross did their best to handle the situation, as Ryanair were nowhere to be seen. They really displayed a shocking lack of empathy for their customers, almost bordering on inhumane.”
Another passenger stated, "it was really scary, there were three to four minutes (that felt like an hour) when the plane was falling fast and I thought we were done for.” Some passengers were upset with Ryanair’s response after the plane landed, as many had to spend the night at the airport, rather than at a hotel.
Ryanair says there was a shortage of accommodation and some passengers had to wait until Saturday morning for a flight. They added, however, that the passengers who were not offered a hotel did receive refreshment vouchers.
One passenger called out the Ryanair CEO on Twitter for the airline’s poor service. “Nightmare Ryanair flight FR7312 on way to Croatia. Emergency landing at Frankfurt. Overnight in military base camp beds- good old Ryanair style customer service. Cutting costs and more profit for Ryanair all at the expense of customer safety. Shame on you Michael O Leary,” wrote Paul Wiseman.