A Jet2 flight en route to Ibiza from Belfast had to make an unscheduled stop in Toulouse due to a passenger's "disruptive" and "aggressive" behavior. The man, who officials accuse of “consuming alcohol illicitly,” had boarded the plane with blow-up sex doll, and was allegedly engaged in “disgraceful and deplorable” behavior in front of children.
One passenger, who encountered the man while boarding, tweeted, “Nice one guys! Together with a blow up doll at 7am in front of my kids & long queues. Way to go!” Another passenger told BBC Northern Ireland that the man belonged to a “large stag group” that became “quite rowdy” after boarding the plane.
The passenger, who was flying with her baby, said, "The captain introduced himself and gave a really stern warning and reiterated that only alcohol bought on board could be consumed on flight and duty free can't be consumed.
"Passengers couldn't get off the plane and it was roasting. All the babies and kids on the plane were so unsettled. Six hours in total when it should have been a three hour flight,” she added.
Phil Ward, managing director at Jet2, a British low-cost airline, stated, “The customer, Mr. McDowell, travelling with a group was aggressive to both crew and fellow customers on board, something which will not be tolerated. Unfortunately his behaviour was particularly unnecessary towards one of our crew and he was also aggressive and unruly in the vicinity, where other families with young children and customers were sitting."
"In consultation with the captain we had to take the unusual decision to divert the aircraft as the situation on board escalated and he was taken off the aircraft with the assistance of the police in Toulouse,” Ward added. "It's is very clear that consuming alcohol illicitly contributed to this behaviour and as part of our ‘OnBoard Together’ approach we will continue to call for action to better control the sale and consumption of tax free goods purchased at airports. We will not under any circumstances tolerate this type of disgraceful behaviour onboard our aircraft."
McDowell, 32, a resident of Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, was eventually taken off the flight during an emergency landing at Toulouse airport. He is currently under investigation and has been banned from flying with Jet2 for life.
A week prior, another stag party forced a flight from Bristol Airport to Prague, with 140 passengers onboard, to be cancelled after a member of the party urinated on the floor of the airplane bathroom before take-off.
Nathan Rees, the groom in the stag party, believes the crew “overreacted” and has threatened legal action against the airline. After the plane disembarked, he tweeted, “@easyJet your cabin crew and head cabin lady need to be sacked. Made a mountain out of a molehill on the flight to Prague yesterday evening that got cancelled. Destroyed my stag and also hundred of others trip to Prague.” The stag party reportedly arrived in the Czech Republic the following day.
An EasyJet spokesperson stated, “EasyJet was required to cancel flight EZY6267 from Bristol to Prague on June 1 due to a group of passengers behaving disruptively on board which caused a delay – the flight was further delayed and then cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. EasyJet’s crew did everything possible to minimise the disruption for our remaining passengers who have been given the option of transferring their flight free of charge or receiving a refund. EasyJet also provided hotel accommodation and meals for those passengers who required them.”