By Daniel Machin
EasyJet has issued an apology after a group of passengers were left stranded in Malaga.
A flight to Bristol from the Spanish city on Saturday took off without 29 people on board.
Hold luggage had already been loaded onto the aircraft for the 9.15pm flight, so the forgotten travellers had no option but to make do with just their hand luggage.
'Issue at the boarding gate'
A spokeswoman for the airline blamed the embarrassing incident on "an issue at the boarding gate".
The passengers' luggage and boarding passes had reportedly both been scanned before the group proceeded to the walkway.
A total of 110 passengers were able to board the plane but it is believed a second barrier did not open for the remaining 29.
As they stood in the corridor behind the barrier, the stranded group watched as their plane took to the skies without them.
'I don't want to alarm you, but the plane has gone'
One of the forgotten passengers, Iain Locke, 58, of Pensford in Somerset, told the Bristol Post that the group were trapped in the corridor for at least 20 minutes.
"I turned round to the guy beside me and said 'I don't want to alarm you, but the plane has gone'. I just couldn't believe it," he said.
"I've flown a lot and I know there are measures in place for the pilot and crew to check the correct number of passengers are on the aircraft.
"I find it unbelievable that a flight could take off with passengers missing."
EasyJet has launched an investigation
Of those who were left behind, 19 took the next available flight to Gatwick at 10.30pm while the remaining 10 spent the night in Malaga before flying to Bristol the next day.
Their luggage, meanwhile, was flown to Bristol Airport where it was reunited with the passengers after their flights home.
EasyJet is currently in the process of contacting and apologising to the passengers who did not board the plane.
It has also launched an investigation to understand what exactly what happened and will be offering flight vouchers and a refund of onward travel arrangements from Gatwick as a gesture of goodwill to the affected customers.