Ryanair has ordered an inquiry into how a Rotherham woman and her three children were allowed to board the wrong flight at East Midlands Airport.
Jo Housley and her children, along with two other passengers, were booked onto a flight to Spain but were put onto a plane bound for Latvia.
Stephen Pritchard and his son, from Cannock, from Staffordshire, said their boarding passes were checked three times before he was ushered on to the wrong plane.
He said: “This comes at a time when they are supposed to be tightening security. It’s unbelievable.”
The families were taken off the wrong plane before it departed once the blunder was detected, but they had missed their scheduled flight.
Ryanair said: “While it is the responsibility of each customer to ensure they board the correct aircraft, we have asked our handling agent at East Midlands to investigate this incident and ensure it does not recur.
“We sincerely apologise to the customers in question, who have been transferred on to the next available flight free of charge, provided with refreshment vouchers and advised to keep receipted expenses for reimbursement of additional transport costs.”