Easyjet has apologised after a flight from Malaga to Bristol took off while 29 of its passengers were stuck in a boarding gate stairwell.
The passengers were accidentally locked in when security doors leading to a walkway to the aircraft closed, trapping the 29 people who were queuing to board.
They managed to alert staff in a nearby perfume shop after banging on the doors.
After around 20 minutes, a cleaner managed to free the group, who there then seen by a rather embarrassed Easyjet rep.
Iain Locke, from Pensford, one of the passengers due to board the 9.15pm flight back to Bristol, told the Bristol Postabout the moment he realised that the plane had left - with all their luggage on board.
He said: "The stairwell was full and people were getting on the plane, but then boarding seemed to stop.
"After wondering what was going on, I looked through the doors onto the airport apron and the plane had gone.
"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. I have 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."
Mr Locke added: "When the Easyjet representative arrived, he could not believe what had happened."
According to the BBC, 19 passengers got on a later flight to Gatwick, while 10 stayed in Spain and flew to Bristol the next day.
An Easyjet spokesman said the company was contacting and apologising to the 29 passengers involved.
The spokesman told the Bristol Post: "We have launched an investigation to understand 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 passengers."
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