(DailyMail UK) A Virgin Atlantic flight from London Gatwick to St. Lucia on Saturday, Jan. 28 was diverted after a “disruptive” passenger shouted and spat at cabin crew, and threatened to open the plane’s door three hours into the flight, The Daily Mail has reported.
The passenger, described as black and in his 20s, was restrained with the help of other passengers.
The plane was redirected to the Portuguese island of Terceira in the Azores, where it landed at the Lajes Airport. Passengers had to eventually disembark the plane as the flight was delayed for four hours.
Alfie Haagman, 56, who is currently on vacation in St. Lucia, told The Daily Mail about the terrifying experience.
“When it first started we weren’t sure what was going on. He was completely out of it. He was threatening the stewards and the people around him and spitting at them. They had to restrain him. A couple of passengers helped with that,” Haagman told The Mail.
In a letter given to passengers, Virgin Atlantic apologised for the disruption.
“As you know, a customer travelling with us began behaving in an aggressive and disrusptive manner. Our crew are trained to handle and diffuse such situations and made every possible effort to manage this.
“Our crew are trained to handle and diffuse such situations and made every possible effort to manage this. Safety is always our absolute priority, and as the continued behaviour of this individual posed a potential risk to himself and others, we had no choice but to divert and remove the disruptive customer.
“The airport at Lajes was the nearest safe diversion point, and we intended and made every effort to continue to St. Lucia & Tobago.”