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EasyJet passengers were forced to wait for four hours at Porto airport before getting a bus to Lisbon, after they were told their flight had departed without them.

The flight from London Gatwick to Lisbon was diverted to Porto due to a runway closure at Lisbon.

Passengers were told to disembark at Porto, but were assured they would be able to reboard the aircraft after it had refuelled, when they would be flown to the Portuguese capital as planned.

However, hours later, travellers were informed that the flight had gone on to Lisbon without them and that they would have to get a coach instead.

“We got to the airport just after 2pm and were sat there until 4.30pm until someone said your plane has taken off and has gone to Lisbon without you,” passenger Frazer Rendell, 48, told the Sun.

“Everyone was shocked that the plane had gone without us in the same condition that it arrived in. At 5.50pm, passengers boarded the coach and went to Lisbon.”

Driving from Porto airport to Lisbon takes more than three hours, compared to 45 minutes by plane.

EasyJet told The Independent that the confusion with flight EJU8717 on 12 April occurred due to slot times (when an aircraft is allowed to take-off and land).

“Once in Porto the flight was subject to a slot constraint and so the decision was taken to disembark passengers for their comfort,” the airline said in a statement.

“The slot delay unfortunately caused crew to exceed their legal working hours limit so passengers were provided with refreshment vouchers and offered coach transfers to Lisbon.

“After customers had disembarked a slot became available and so the flight operated an empty sector to Lisbon to ensure it could operate later sectors.

“Although this is outside of easyJet’s control, we would like to apologise to passengers for the inconvenience caused and thank them for their patience.

EasyJet added: “The safety of its passengers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority.”

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