EasyJet passengers mutiny to get CREW thrown off flight to MalagaAugust 6, 2021
EXCLUSIVE: EasyJet passengers mutiny to get CABIN CREW thrown off flight to Malaga after hostess called armed police to deal with two young black men who ‘huffed’ when they were told to put their shoes on for take-off
- Four officers boarded flight from London’s Gatwick Airport yesterday morning
- Passenger Luke Gayle, 28, said two men were asked to put on shoes and ‘huffed’
- After an en masse protest, captain said replacement crew would come on board
- EasyJet said ‘issue arose onboard during taxi’ and feedback is being ‘reviewed’
- ** Were YOU on board the flight? Email [email protected] **
Were YOU on board the flight or know one of the men involved?
Email [email protected]
EasyJet passengers staged a mutiny to stop two young black men being thrown off a flight to Malaga yesterday – and instead forced the airline to replace the cabin crew.
Armed police were called to the flight from London’s Gatwick Airport to Malaga after it returned to the gate following an altercation between the passengers and cabin crew during its taxi to the runway.
Passengers on the flight say that the Easyjet crew overreacted when the two men ‘huffed’ after they were told to put their shoes on for take-off because they were sitting in an emergency exit row.
When the flight reached the gate a female attendant contacted police to say there were two ‘disobedient passengers’ on board and four armed officers then entered the plane, confiscating the two men’s passports and offloading their luggage.
But the passengers objected en masse, and videos show them telling the men to ‘sit down’ and ‘not get off’ while protesting the stewardess’ actions.
Following customers’ objections to the incident, the captain made a tannoy announcement telling them a replacement crew would be coming on board.
All passengers remained on the flight, including the two men, before it headed to Malaga three hours after its scheduled departure time.
Passengers on board have questioned whether the men’s race played a factor in the crew’s reaction, and said that the two men were previously ‘polite’.
The footage was filmed by Luke Gayle, 28, who said he was sitting three rows in front of the two men approached by the flight attendant.
Speaking to MailOnline, he said the hostess asked the pair to put on their shoes and place their feet underneath the seats, adding: ‘They huffed, but that was it.’
He said: ‘We were left waiting for two to three hours with no update – it was absolutely disgraceful.
‘I am a racial justice ambassador and I kind of know how unconscious racial bias works. Obviously it’s very difficult in these situations to say it was a racial issue, it’s difficult to prove that, however, was there some kind of unconscious bias there?
‘Because it seems so dramatic to call the police and have a plane with 160-odd passengers turn around and be delayed for someone huffing at them. I mean surely as cabin crew you are trained on how to deal with those situations effectively.
The female flight attendant pictured alongside one of the police officers on the flight from London’s Gatwick Airport which returned to the gate following an altercation between the passengers and cabin crew yesterday morning
One armed policeman (left) shrugged at a passenger in bewilderment before saying: ‘There’s no need for me to interfere because there’s no problem’
‘Everyone else on the plane was white from what I can remember, and they were the only three black passengers.’
In one of the clips, a police officer can be seen shrugging at a passenger in bewilderment.
The policeman is later heard saying: ‘There’s no need for me to interfere because there’s no problem.’
Towards the end of the footage, luggage is seen being unloaded from the plane, despite the two men – who were sat in a group of three – never being removed.
Mr Gayle said: ‘When four armed police officers came on the plane it was quite scary to see. We thought there was someone wanted on the plane.
‘They said they were there to prevent a breach of the peace and escort two men off the plane, but as soon as the man was asked to leave he attempted to and everyone said “no sit back down again”.
‘My faith was then restored in humanity as the whole flight said it was unacceptable.’
Customers have since complained to the airline about the incident, which delayed the flight, and their feedback is being reviewed, said easyJet.
One of the men seen reaching for his bag before passengers object en masse, telling him to ‘sit down’ and ‘not get off’ while protesting the stewardess’ actions
Luke Gayle, 28, said: ‘When four armed police officers came on the plane it was quite scary to see. We thought there was someone wanted on the plane’
Customers have since complained to the airline about the incident, which delayed the flight, and their feedback is being reviewed, said easyJet
A spokesperson for the airline said: ‘The primary responsibility of our crew is for the safety of everyone onboard.
‘An issue arose onboard the flight during taxi, the aircraft returned to stand and was met by airport police to resolve the issue before safely departing with all passengers onboard.
‘Our crew must ensure that safety requirements are followed by all passengers and as part of their role must check prior to take-off that everyone is compliant with these.
‘This is particularly important for passengers seated in emergency exits rows where crew ensure there are no loose items during take-off.
Towards the end of the footage, luggage is seen being unloaded from the plane, despite the two men – who were sat in a group of three – never being removed
‘We are aware of the feedback from some customers onboard on how this was handled.
‘We take feedback of this nature seriously and have been in touch with them to discuss their experience and assure them that we will review this internally.
‘The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is our highest priority.’
MailOnline has reached out to Sussex Police for comment.
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