During its time on the ground, baggage workers were unable to open the rear cargo door of the plane, and had to load all the luggage in the front – requiring passengers to act as ballast in the rear to keep the plane balanced.
The seventy passengers were afraid that the stuck cargo door would pop open during the flight, and many of them paid 100’s of pounds to fly home with other airlines. One passenger paid $1000 to fly his family home.
Adding to the “horror” of the incident were passengers who had arrived on the same plane, who told departing passengers that they had just experienced “the worst flight of their lives”.
The airline said it was a normal operating procedure and that it was disappointed to hear that passengers decided not to travel, despite reassurances from the crew and captain.