The flight, from the Air France low-cost shuttle flight company Hop!, was just about to take off for Montpellier, when a passenger asked to stop the plane, because he was supposed to be going to Bordeaux instead, according to French news source France Bleu.
The plane - which regularly shuttles passengers between Paris and Montpellier - is then said to have turned around promptly, whilst still on the tarmac at Paris Orly-Ouest, and let the passenger disembark safely.
And yet, while the other passengers were said to have been amused at the man’s somewhat silly mistake, questions have been asked about the security processes - or apparent lack thereof - that could have allowed a man to board a plane for which he did not hold the correct boarding pass.
“We were all a bit shocked to hear that there was a passenger on board who was not supposed to be there,” said Sylvie Benamou, a passenger on board the flight, speaking to France Bleu. “Everyone stayed very calm, but we said that from a security point of view, it was not very reassuring to know that we had a passenger on board who should not have been with us.”
Air France, owner of Hop!, which operates domestic “shuttle” services and flights to other short-haul European destinations, defended its actions to news website RTL, saying that all the correct security checks had taken place, but that the passenger in question had simply gone down the wrong corridor when actually walking to the plane.
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France