Passengers were left hopping with fury after their plane was diverted to an alternative airport after a bizarre outburst of plane rage.
Scottish holidaymakers were en route home to Edinburgh from Tunisia, when the plane was forced to divert to London after a female passenger slapped a girl, also a passenger on the flight and then unbuckled her fake leg and began swinging it at cabin crew who attempted to intervene.
The irate woman, who is aged 48, demanded “cigarettes and a parachute” during the course of the flight, but became enraged when the Thompson plane staff tried to calm her down. One witness claimed that she headbutted one member of staff in the fracas; the flight crew were able to relieve the woman of the prosthetic leg that she was wielding as a weapon. However, that did not hold her back, and in scene reminiscent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, she started kicking at them with her good leg.
The Edinburgh-bound flight #297 was diverted to Gatwick airport and the woman was removed from the plane by police, as the passengers treated her to a performance of the Hokey-Cokey. The remaining passengers cheered as she was removed, but were forced to sit on the tarmac for two hours while police took witness statements. Finally, after the delay, the flight resumed its original course to Edinburgh, touching down at 2.30am this morning.
One baffled witness, John Smith, who is aged 48 and from Falkirk, said: “We were coming back from Tunisia when this lady kicked off. She was off her face on drink. She was shouting ‘I want cigarettes’ and that she wanted a parachute to jump off the plane. She slapped a young girl and then assaulted the cabin crew with her prosthetic leg. They took it off her, but she started kicking them with her good leg. It sounds funny, but it was not a laughing matter at the time. It was serious. She was totally drunk. It was pretty shocking; She embarrassed everybody on the flight. A lot of people were upset about it, especially those with children. The cabin crew were absolutely amazing and very professional in the way they dealt with it.”
Another passenger commented: “The flight was going as normal but then at around 10pm the seatbelt sign came on and nobody really knew why. The pilot said there was an issue on board and we were going to have to divert to Gatwick. The people at the back of the plane didn’t know what was going on and thought there was something wrong with the plane. But really it was because of this drunk woman with one leg who headbutted a crew member and kicked and punched another one. They took her fake leg off her and put it in the overhead lockers. She was also handcuffed to her chair. Everyone was laughing then. When she was taken off we were all singing ‘you put your left leg in, you put your left leg out’. It was hilarious. She’s definitely from Scotland because she was on my flight out to Tunisia as well a week ago.”
A spokesman for Sussex Police made a statement, saying: “At 10.22pm on Wednesday (30/7/14) a 48-year-old unemployed woman from Edinburgh was arrested at the North Terminal, Gatwick Airport, on suspicion of using threatening behaviour while aboard Thompson flight 297 from Tunisia to Edinburgh. The flight was diverted into Gatwick after it was alleged the woman had been abusive and had thrown a prosthetic leg and food at cabin crew. The woman is being interviewed and is currently in custody at Crawley police station.”