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Two Leinster fans miss Champions Cup final after Aer Lingus error

By Stephen Barry

Aer Lingus have apologised after two Leinster fans missed out on the Champions Cup final due to reduced seat capacity.

The 7.10am flight to Bilbao, where Leinster face Racing 92 later today, was overbooked due to aircraft being "out of position" after flight disruptions in Dublin Airport yesterday.

Aer Lingus offered compensation of €250, later upped to €400, for six passengers to give up their seats. The company confirmed five guests were eventually impacted.

The airline says three passengers accepted this offer, with two travelling via Amsterdam on a flight due to arrive in Bilbao at 4.45pm (3.45pm Irish time), an hour ahead of kick-off.

Another passenger who was not travelling to the match was re-routed to Madrid.

The final two passengers' names were randomly drawn and offered a route via Amsterdam. They chose not to travel and Aer Lingus say they will be "refunded and fully compensated".

The flight eventually departed at 9.14am, arriving in Bilbao over two hours late.

"Following disruption to take-offs and landings at Dublin Airport on Friday, a number of our aircraft were out of position on Saturday morning. As a result, the seat capacity of one of our Bilbao flights was slightly lower than required," said Aer Lingus in a statement.

"We can confirm that the flight has since departed and that we have been able to accommodate all but two of the 2,700 guests we're transporting to this weekend's European Rugby Champions Cup final.

"It is unacceptable to Aer Lingus that even two guests were affected and we sincerely apologise for the disappointment caused."