Monday, June 24, 2024

TUI ‘drunk passenger chaos’ as flight forced to make emergency landing

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A “disruptive” passenger caused holidaymakers on their way to Turkey a hugely frustrating five-hour delay.

The pilot of a TUI plane was forced to make an unscheduled landing only 45 minutes after the departure from Glasgow due to the behaviour of a passenger described as “drunk” by a fellow traveller.

The TOM778 flight to Antalya, in Turkey, set off at 5.15pm on May 24, ahead of the last bank holiday weekend of May.

However, the captain soon had to make a landing at Newcastle International Airport and let police officers into the cabin to have the disruptive passenger removed, the travel company confirmed.

Footage sent to Glasgow Live shows a man complaining while being carried through the aisle of the cabin by two police officers. 

One passenger claimed to the publication that the partner of the “drunken” traveller was also removed from the plane amid “a chorus of boos as she gave everyone the middle finger”.

The passenger alleged: “They were seen drunk while boarding the plane. He refused to surrender his own bottle of gin and became verbally abusive.

“An announcement was made 45 minutes after take-off that we were diverting with reason of unruly passenger. It took a further 45 minutes before we arrived at Newcastle, at around 7pm.

“Two police officers boarded the plane and handcuffed him but he became unsettled so two more officers came on board.” 

Further delays were created by the refuelling of the plane, the removal of these passengers’ bags from the hold and the replacement of cabin crew “due to the serious event and exceeding hours”, the traveller also said.

Despite the long wait, the passengers aboard the TOM778 flight could not disembark at Newcastle due to “border control issues”, the passenger claimed.

The unfortunate incident allowed staff members on the plane to show their professionalism, with the captain visiting “every passenger personally in the aftermath to answer questions”, the traveller also said. 

A TUI UK & I spokesperson acknowledged the experience wasn’t the best way to begin a holiday, and announced compensation in the form of a holiday voucher for those affected.

They said: “We’d like to apologise to customers on TOM778 from Glasgow to Antalya, who were required to divert to Newcastle due to a disruptive passenger on board the flight. Our goal is to ensure customers have the best possible flight experience, so this is not the way we wanted their holiday to start.

“The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and any unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated. The customer involved was offloaded from the aircraft and the flight was able to continue its journey.

“We have offered customers a gesture of goodwill in light of this disruption to the start of their holiday and to thank them for their patience and understanding. The flight departed Newcastle for Antalya at 22:50 last night, Friday 24 May.” 

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