Couple given ‘life ban’ from easyJet after mistakingly buying fraudulent tickets
A couple say they have been treated like criminals and banned for life from easyJet flights after buying fraudulent tickets.
Each month Kenny Rainford and Marie Rylance fly to their villa in Alicante as they have been doing for the past 14 years.
During that time they have always used easyJet.
While they were planning their last trip, the Liverpool couple were told about an Instagram page called Half Price 36522 by a friend, who hinted they may be able to pick up some cheap tickets.
After making sure everything was above board, Kenny and Marie paid £200 for two tickets for a five-day return trip, Liverpool Echo reported.
On the day of the flight the couple made their way through customs and security with no problem.
When they got to the gate however, they were informed their tickets were fraudulant.
Kenny and Marie claim they were marched out of the airport and told they were never to use the airline again.
A spokesman for easyJet has since confirmed a member of its 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.
Kenny, 53, said: "We have been made to feel like the biggest criminals.
"We feel victimised.
"It was a friend who introduced me to this company and he had already used it and successfully.
"I enquired with the company and asked them 'how do you get tickets for cheaper?' and they said they buy them in bulk when they are on offer and then sell them on, which I didn't think was unusual.
"I was very careful and ticked all the boxes and went to the bank to pay the money into the account I had been given.
"And then we got the itinerary straight away."
Kenny's suspicions were roused only once before the flight when he spotted another name on the itinerary.
When he asked Half Price 36522 about it he was told it was a clerical error.
What the couple did not know was that the name on the booking belonged to the person whose card had been cloned to buy the tickets.
"We were about to get on the plane and a member of staff said 'you are not able to get on this plane'," Kenny continued.
"We were told to stand to the side and wait and I said to them 'look we need to get on this flight we have friends waiting to pick us up at the other side' and we were just told 'you are not getting on this flight you need to go to customer services'."
Despite explaining the situation and repeatedly contacting customer services following the incident in April, the pair are still on the banned list.
Kenny said: "We have been flying with easyJet every month, since 2005.
"And then all of a sudden we are just criminals to them.
"We have given them all of the documentation which shows what happened and how we were scammed but we are still on this banned list.
"It is just ridiculous.
"What makes it worse is despite being on this 'banned list' we keep getting inundated with email offers to fly with easyJet.
"It is like showing us what we could have had."
Because Marie is a teacher the pair used to get late night flights out on Friday and return on Sunday – a service only easyJet offer.
Now Marie has to wait until the school holidays to fly out as she can't otherwise take time off.
Kenny added: "There is no other airline that offers the same flights, all the others fly in the morning which obviously Marie can't do.
"We have literally been treated like criminals and we haven't done anything wrong.
"We have sent easyJet everything they asked us to so they can investigate what happened, including receipts and screenshots which show our back and forth conversations with the company.
"It is us who have lost £200 but we are still being punished by being put on this banned list, because we have once in our life of using easyJet tried to get cheaper flights.
"We are not repeat offenders we are professional people and the last thing we would want to do is buy fraudulent tickets.
"We have learnt a valuable lesson and will now only go to a travel agents to buy flights or just book online but to ban us for life, it is ridiculous."
A spokesperson for easyJet said: "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.
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