Jet2 has today vowed to prosecute a woman who sparked a hijack alert when she allegedly tried to open the plane’s emergency exit midair.
Cabin crew had to drag the passenger to the ground as witnesses said she started to scream, “I’m going to kill everyone” just 45 minutes into the flight from Stansted Airport, near London, to Dalaman, Turkey, on Saturday.
Two RAF Typhoon fighters were scrambled to intercept the Airbus 321 after the woman allegedly rushed toward the cockpit – with the plane forced to loop back to the UK.
Essex Police arrested a 25-year-old woman on suspicion of common assault, criminal damage and endangering an aircraft.
She has since been released on bail.
And as fellow passengers described the scenes of chaos that unfolded, Jet2 has promised to deal with the “appalling and dangerous behavior”.
In a statement, a spokesperson said: “We are now liaising with the relevant authorities to support their investigation, and we will not hesitate to prosecute. For years we have been highlighting just how serious the consequences of disruptive passenger behaviour can be. These consequences include huge fines, lifetime bans and court action. They now also include the authorities having to scramble fighter jets to escort commercial aircraft, proof that this behaviour must stop now.”
Describing the passenger’s behavior as “extremely disruptive,” the airline thanked crew and passengers for assisting on the flight.
It comes after witnesses revealed how passengers started screaming as the woman went for the exit door.
Amy Varol, who sat two rows behind the woman, told The Sun Online, “The woman was walking down the aisle when she literally ran to the exit door. She had her hands on the handle trying to open it. Luckily there were two cabin crew there who pulled her off the door.”
Then the woman allegedly went for the cockpit door before a male passenger threw her to the floor.
“She started assaulting the two crew members, a woman and a man,” Varol continued.
“A big guy then literally threw her down to the floor and there was one person holding one arm and another person holding the other. Then a man sat on her and one person was holding her leg and someone else holding the other one. That’s when she started screaming ‘get off me’, ‘I’m going to kill everyone’.”
The exclusive video shows the “intoxicated” woman being pinned to a seat by six cabin crew and passengers, then being led away by cops amid the midair panic.
Varol added, “She kept singing songs and screaming she’s gonna kill us, ‘I want to get off’, ‘I’m gonna f—— hit you,’ ‘f—— come on then.’ I was terrified. There’s nothing you can do, you can’t escape.”
Stewart Brown, who was six rows behind, said the woman had started to irritate passengers as soon as they took off.
The 36-year-old mobile DJ told The Sun Online, “The air stewards did their best to calm her down. She seemed absolutely fine before takeoff but then strangely very drunk or drugged as we took off. The stewards gave her several chances and did the best they could before she became abusive and then made a dash for the cockpit and had to be restrained by staff and passengers. We had to turn round and police removed her off the plane.”
Many people living near Stansted phoned the police to report a loud noise they thought could be an explosion when the RAF Typhoons were scrambled to the flight.
A sonic boom is created when supersonic aircraft accelerate through the sound barrier – which is banned over land except in emergencies.
A Royal Air Force spokeswoman said, “We can confirm that RAF quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Coningsby scrambled to escort a commercial flight into Standard shortly after take-off due to reports of a disruptive passenger.”
“A woman arrested at Stansted Airport over the weekend has since been released on bail,” said Essex Police. “The 25-year-old, from Maidenhead in Berkshire, was arrested on suspicion of common assault, criminal damage and endangering an aircraft. She has been released on bail until Tuesday 30 July.”
The drama was said to have caused minor delays at Stansted but a spokesman said the airport resumed normal operations.
Meanwhile, football manager Sam Allardyce was among hundreds of passengers stuck in huge delays after an IT meltdown at Manchester Airport.
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