EasyJet pilot tells passengers to get off plane as its too heavy to take off

An easyJet pilot was forced to tell passengers to get off the plane after discovering it was “too heavy to take off”.

The flight was set to take off from Lanzarote’s Arrecife Airport to John Lennon Airport, Liverpool at 9.45 pm Wednesday (July 5).

But it was delayed by nearly two hours due to the aircraft's weight and the adverse weather conditions.

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Due to the weight issue, the pilot was forced to request that up to 20 passengers volunteer to exit the flight in exchange for €500 per passenger (£427).

A passenger onboard the busy aircraft managed to capture the announcement on video, which was then shared with the Echo.

In the footage, the pilot can be heard saying: “Thank for getting here today. Because there are so many of you it's a pretty heavy aircraft.

"That heavy aircraft combined with a pretty short runway and with the current unfavourable conditions here in Lanzarote, means the aircraft is too heavy to take off. I've been sat with my senior first officer and we're very experienced with this and have done this before.

"With safety as our number one priority, there is no way, with the current wind conditions, that we could get this aircraft airborne. There are a number of factors – it's very hot, the wind isn't fantastic, the direction isn't great.

"Now, you might be wondering what happens next and that's what I've come in here to say. I have spoken with our operations team and the one way to solve a problem with a heavy aircraft is to make it slightly lighter.

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"If possible, I would like to ask up to 20 volunteers to choose not to fly to Liverpool tonight. If anyone wants to volunteer there will be an incentive. The current number we've been quoted by easyJet is up to €500 per passenger who is willing to not fly tonight."

Passengers in the video can be heard muttering "I want to go home tonight" and shaking their heads. According to easyJet's flight tracker, the flight was delayed due to "poor weather conditions in Lanzarote".

The flight tracker said it was due to depart at 9.45pm but did not leave until 11.24pm. It arrived at John Lennon Airport shortly after 3am today, July 6.

A spokesperson for easyJet confirmed 19 passengers volunteered to leave the flight.

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The spokesperson said: "easyJet can confirm that 19 passengers on flight EZY3364 from Lanzarote to Liverpool yesterday evening volunteered to travel on a later flight as a result of the aircraft being over the weight limits for the weather conditions.

"This is a routine operational decision in these circumstances and weight restrictions are in place for all airlines for safety reasons. In the event that a flight would exceed weight limits, we ask for passengers to volunteer to transfer to a later flight free of charge which is what happened on this occasion and volunteers are provided with compensation in line with regulations.

"The safety and welfare of our passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority."

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