Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Breath of (high altitude) Fresh Air

Two British women joined the ranks of the awfully behaved in the air a few weeks ago when they went on a drunken spree aboard an XL Airways Boeing 737. The charter flight from Kos to Manchester was forced to make an emergency landing in Germany where the pair were removed by armed police to the delight of their fellow passengers.

The two women were returning from holiday and were already drunk when they boarded. They were refused further service because of their condition, but decided to continue drinking from a bottle of vodka they'd bought at the airport. When the cabin crew asked them to desist, a mini riot broke out as the two women attacked crew members with the vodka bottle and had to be wrestled to the floor and put in restraints. At one point one of the inebriated pair tried to open an emergency exit, screaming 'I want some fresh air'.

Panicked passengers were screaming in fear as the melee between the flight attendants and the pair continued, and one witness described it as "...a hell of a scene. The crew were brilliant, wrestling them to the ground and slapping plastic handcuffs on them. We all thought we'd had our chips."

After two hours at Frankfurt airport the flight continued to Manchester. Both protagonists have now been repatriated to the UK, but expect to face charges of interference in air traffic and attempted assault; they will also be expected to repay the thousands of pounds of costs associated with the emergency landing. Hopefully a sobering experience.

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