Police called after ‘bedlam’ in the air
POLICE BOARDED an easyJet flight from Tel Aviv when it arrived in Luton on Monday to prevent a possible “breach of the peace” by a group of strictly Orthodox Jewish men.
One angry passenger told the JC it was “absolute bedlam” on the plane. No arrests were made.
Tempers flared prior to the departure of Monday’s 2.55pm flight from Israel, when a group of Charedi men reportedly refused to take their seats next to female passengers — apparently on religious grounds.
The flight was full, but the men refused to listen to stewards’ requests to take their seats so the plane could take off. After a 15-minute stand-off in which the men were said to have blocked the aisles, some of the female passengers offered to move seats.
The passenger told the JC: “It was infuriating to witness, both for passengers and for the stewards, who tried but failed to control them.
“At one point there were about 10 men in black hats blocking the aisles and refusing to sit down.”
After take-off one of the men caused a further problem by plugging his phone into the control panel in the stewards’ area of the plane, leading to the exit lights coming on in the cabin.
In a statement, easyJet confirmed the incidents had taken place.
The airline said there had been “a small group of passengers behaving disruptively by not complying with the captain and cabin crew’s request to take their seats both prior to departure from Tel Aviv and during the flight.
“For the safety of all passengers easyJet’s crew must ensure that whenever the seat belt signs are illuminated all passengers are in their seats with their seatbelts fastened.
“EasyJet’s cabin crew are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time.
“Separately during the flight a passenger plugged a mobile device into a USB port on the crew control panel in the forward galley in a foolish attempt to charge it. This led to the exit light above the panel being illuminated but did not in any way comprise the safety or security of the aircraft.”
In a statement, Bedfordshire Police said: “Officers attended and escorted the men off the flight preventing a breach of the peace. No offences were found to have been committed.”