Virgin flight makes emergency landing as drunk passenger tries to 'kick out window'
A man has been accused of leaving passengers and crew members horrified mid-air while being on a Virgin Atlantic flight bound for Los Angeles from Heathrow. The unidentified British man was reportedly drunk and attempted to “kick out the windows,” which resulted in a baby suffering minor injuries as the shocked mother dropped the toddler, The Sun reported.
It has been said that the alleged rowdy flyer, accompanied by a female and a child, was high on alcohol and had violent interactions with flight attendants thrice on Tuesday, July 26. He also fought with fellow passengers of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner before he was tackled by US Marines, who were on the aircraft. Because of his antics, the plane was flown to Salt Lake City, where local officers and US Customs officers forced him to deboard. The plane then moved towards its destination.
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An eyewitness spoke with The Sun and said, “There was an altercation involving the man about an hour into the flight. He was a British guy. It took a good while to get him to sit back down and resolve it. Then a few hours later it happened again and I thought to myself ‘This may not end well’. Later he had fallen asleep but woke up ready to go again and that’s when he started getting physical.”
The person stated, “There were a couple of US Marines who piled in on him. He was sitting in the back and he got handcuffed right there,” before adding, “They worked for some time to subdue him before they decided to land. It was intense for a while and I was upset because it was the third time.”
Salt Lake City Police said, “At approximately 4:30 pm, Airport Division Police were called to respond to a Virgin Atlantic flight that was diverted into SLC due to an unruly passenger onboard a Virgin Atlantic flight who had been physically detained by other passengers and flight crew members.”
A US law enforcement source told The Sun, “A passenger on board became unruly and fought several passengers while attempting to move towards the cockpit. During the fight, a mum dropped her baby causing injury. They eventually got him under control and handcuffed the guy and diverted to Salt Lake City for police to enter the plane and take him into custody.”
Besides, a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson issued a statement, noting, “Due to a disruptive passenger onboard flight VS141 operating from London Heathrow to Los Angeles on Tuesday 26 July, the aircraft diverted to Salt Lake City to be met by police authorities. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we don’t tolerate any behaviour that compromises this.”
The statement added: “We always want our customers to have the best experience when they fly with us and our cabin crew are highly trained to deal with any individuals that may impact that experience for others. The flight continued to Los Angeles arriving just before 20:00 local time with an arrival delay of approximately four hours. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to customers onboard.”
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Reportedly, the mood of flyers was already off before even boarding the plane because of huge queues at Heathrow Airport. One of them explained, “Before we even left Heathrow I was in a two-hour bag drop line and a two-hour security line. I was there for five hours and barely made my flight. People were not happy, people were very agitated. I've never been on a flight like that, there were so many screaming kids and irritated parents. The flight attendants seemed edgy from the beginning, I think right now the whole industry is not right. Heathrow was at limit numbers.”