American Airlines refused to let a passenger board his flight despite him getting to the gate in time – and then the aircraft left EARLY

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A PASSENGER who arrived at the airport in plenty of time ended up missing his flight after the plane took off ahead of schedule.

Utah-based musician Matt Mascarenas was travelling from Manchester Airport to Philadelphia last month on a 10:05am American Airlines flight.

A passenger was denied boarding, only for the flight to leave 22 minutes early
A passenger was denied boarding, only for the flight to leave 22 minutes early
Alamy

He told The Northern Quota that he arrived at the airport at 7:30am before getting to his gate at around 9.35am after browsing duty free shops.

Despite getting to the gate 30 minutes before his flight was scheduled to depart, Matt explained how the gate agent snapped “it’s too late” and he wasn’t allowed to board the flight.

The flight, which was scheduled to leave at 10.05am, actually departed at 9:43am – 22 minutes early.

An American Airlines representative told the NQ that they have a “30 minute cut off” to ensure passengers keep their flight seats, which was why he was denied boarding.

Musician Matt Mascarenas was denied boarding despite being there 30 minutes early
Musician Matt Mascarenas was denied boarding despite being there 30 minutes early
Facebook

However, the rules on the airline’s website state: “Most flights start boarding 30 – 50 minutes before scheduled departure.”

If passengers get to the gate “less than 10 minutes before departure”, then the doors would be closed and they wouldn’t be allowed to board the flight.

The website also warns that if passengers don’t arrive before the final 30 minutes before departure, the airline  “may reassign your seat to another passenger.”

All this meant that by arriving at 9.35am, Matt should have been allowed to board the flight.

However, Matt explained: “They didn’t say anything about the flight being full. They just said it’s too late.”

His ticket clearly stated to be there ten minutes before depature
His ticket clearly stated to be there ten minutes before departure
TheNorthQuota.org
However, his flight left 22 minutes earlier than scheduled
However, his flight left 22 minutes earlier than scheduled
TheNorthQuota.org

If the flight was full, then this would mean the passenger should have had his flights re-booked by the airline under EU law, and he should not be forced to pay for a new flight.

However, an anonymous American Airlines source told NQ that the flight was not full, and his seat was not assigned to another passenger.

They also explained how the airline officially closed boarding at 9:51am, which was after Matt was told the plane had stopped boarding.

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Matt was initially told his flights would cost another £1,400, although was eventually able to re-book his flights for $303 (£230) after speaking to customer services.

An American Airlines spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “We apologise to Mr. Mascarenas for the inconvenience he experienced.

“We are investigating further and are in touch with the customer’s attorney.”


Sun Online Travel has explained what to do if you miss your flight, and how much it will cost you for a replacement.

Some airlines offer cheap missed flight insurance while others charge steep fees for another seat.

There’s a no-show clause which most airlines legally enforce where if you miss your outbound flight, your return flight could be cancelled automatically.

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