21-year-old banned from flying by easyJet because of his name
A 21-year-old man from Cheshire says he has been banned from flying with easyJet and targeted by police because he has the same name as someone who has been charged for being a disruptive passenger on a previous flight with the airline. University graduate Kieran Harris says the problem has got so bad he's considering changing his name if the problem continues.
Kieran booked a flight from Liverpool to Alicante in April and was supposed to be flying with easyJet on May 25th. But the day before he was due to go on holiday, he received an email telling him he couldn't board the flight due to 'previous disruptive behaviour'.
He was also told he had been issued a '10 year no-fly sanction' with the airline, which expires in March 2031. "My friend got an email at 6pm the night before the flight, saying they had this ten-year flight ban and I was just removed off the booking,” he said.
"I was gutted. I couldn't quite get my head around it. I wasn't on the booking anymore, I didn't have a seat on the flight, and there was no point in me even going to the airport."
Kieran says the problem is due to easyJet confusing him with another man named Kieran Harris, who was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison for behaving aggressively and abusively whilst drunk on a flight in 2021. To make the situation even worse, the pair also share a birthday.
However, it's not just easyJet who have mixed the pair up. Kieran says the Metropolitan Police stormed his house in bulletproof vests last year after misidentifying him as the wrong Kieran Harris, and on another occasion of mistaken identity, the police turned up at his family home to question him about a car accident, which he wasn’t anything to do with.
"It was quite serious, but within five or 10 minutes they knew that it wasn't me. News articles are published with a photo of this person and you can see that it's not me. They're accusing me of doing something, whereas if they saw me in person any human being would be able to see that it's not me, it's so frustrating. I'm thinking of getting a name change if this continues to happen."
Kieran Harris on the left keeps getting mistaken for Kieran Harris on the right.
Kieran says that easyJet requested a picture of his passport to confirm his identity, and eventually lifted the accidental ban, leaving the stressed holidaymaker with just hours to get to his flight. Although the issue was resolved eventually, Kieran claims that the 'stressful' experience has deterred him from flying with easyJet again, as he had to take time off work to go back and forth with the airline over the phone.
Kieran said: "We'd booked the holiday a month ago and we even checked in online over a week ago, so there has been so much time for them to contact us. I was gutted because I'd booked a day off work [for the flight] and then I couldn’t work the day before because I had to spend the whole day trying to ring easyJet to get this sorted.”
An easyJet spokesperson said: "We are very sorry that Mr Harris was incorrectly advised he couldn't fly with us. We made this decision in good faith as Mr Harris shared the same name and date of birth and was flying from the same UK region as a passenger we'd previously banned for a serious offence onboard.
"As soon as Mr Harris contacted us we resolved the matter and while he flew as originally planned we understand the frustration this will have caused so our team are in touch with him and will offer a gesture of goodwill in light of his experience."
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: "This complaint did relate to police attending an address for a Kieran Harris and it appears to have been a mistaken identity, for which we have sent an apology in writing."
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