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Irish Olympian Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe furious after being kicked off Aer Lingus plane

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Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe shared his frustration on social media (Photo: Facebook)

IRISH Olympian Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe has blasted Aer Lingus after he was removed from a flight following a disagreement over his fencing equipment.

The 24-year-old athlete – who competes in the modern pentathlon – was heading to a competition in Birmingham in preparation for this summer’s Rio Olympics.

In a Facebook post he wrote that having boarded the flight he was escorted off shortly after, despite checking his fencing equipment in as normal. 

European Champion Lanigan-O’Keeffe wrote: 

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Today I got publicly embarrassed by being kicked off a plane while traveling to a competition that I have carefully targeted as part of my preparation for the Olympic games.

I dedicate my life to ensure i make my country proud at the Olympics in Rio only to be let down be my National Airline (Aer lingus), I will miss the competition and waste valuable funding that I spent on Flights, & Hotel etc!

I expected more from Aer lingus! The reason they gave was because I had fencing equipment (Really?).

I am hugely disappointed

A statement from Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air read: “We regret the inconvenience caused to the passenger. However, as set out in the baggage information and guidelines on aerlingus.com, sports weapons cannot be carried on Aer Lingus Regional flights and any such equipment needs to be declared in advance of travel. The passenger was offered alternative travel options and a full refund.”

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4 comments on “Irish Olympian Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe furious after being kicked off Aer Lingus plane”

  1. EC

    His equipment was not carried on as hand luggage, it was checked in. Staff asked to see his equipment and removed it from the hold. A completely misleading article. Author should fact check.

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    • Sports Editor

      Thanks for pointing out the error, this fact has now been amended.

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  2. Philip Roche

    These regional aircraft do not have an underfloor hold like most commercial aircraft, they are stored in a separate section of the main cabin, which may be accessed from the passenger compartment. They were correct in their actions as this could be a potential security issue. He should have read the small print and declared his equipment before hand. His mistake is understandable, but there's no point in taking it out on the airline, I'm glad they uphold their security responsibilities

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  3. Finbarr Good

    Again the words of the author were used to make an impact " kicked off ". His equipment is dangerous and tge airline was perfectly right to ask for it to be removed , if no one did that the author of this story would have written an article about a " security breach " on board aer lingus flight. You can never win with ye.

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