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Dad, 75, flies off… to wrong country

A WIDOWER heading back to Poland was put on the wrong plane, ending up 1,000 miles away in Malta.

Pawel Lawreniuk, 75, only realised something was amiss when he asked a taxi driver to take him home and found he didn’t speak Polish.

The retired engineer had just spent a two-week Christmas break with his daughter Lucyna, 34, in Bradford.

She double-checked and printed his Ryanair ticket from Leeds-Bradford airport and ‘it said Gdansk’, she insisted. But her father, who speaks no English, landed on January 6 at Malta International Airport with little money, a phone that didn’t work there and no way of talking to staff.

‘I don’t know how it is possible for him to make it all the way to Malta,’ said Ms Lawreniuk. ‘He’s had bad dreams. My father told me he doesn’t want to come to me next year. He doesn’t want to fly any more.’

Luckily, Polish-speaker Kamilla Nikolas, 35, heard him at the airport and was able to call his daughter and book him on a flight to Gdansk — one of only two a week — the same day.

‘He looked nervous, confused,’ she said. ‘I’m happy I could help. I was in the right place at the right time.’

Swissport, the handling agency for Ryanair at Leeds-Bradford, said: ‘We are investigating how this occurred and we are re-briefing all staff on procedure. We would like to apologise to Mr Lawreniuk for the inconvenience caused.’ Ryanair has been contacted for a comment.