Police reportedly responded to reports of a planeload of irate and aggressive travelers at Heathrow after the delay of a transatlantic British Airways flight stretched into its third day.
When passengers on a British Airways flight from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) learned they would not be taking off after nearly two full days of technical delays, tempers became a little heated aboard the plane. The situation reportedly became so tense that the crew requested that law enforcement meet the plane at the gate to help escort disgruntled travelers from the flight.
“Four hours of sitting on a boiling plane to be told we can’t go again,” passenger Emily Joyce, a newlywed traveling on her honeymoon with her groom, told The Evening Standard. “People kicked off. One man spat at staff calling them names and throwing things at them. Police arrived and we all got escorted off.”
The flight was originally scheduled to depart on Sunday evening, but was reportedly delayed several times over mechanical issues. The flight was eventually rescheduled for a Monday afternoon departure, but passengers say that problems with baggage and security concerns about whether or not the rescheduled international flight should be assigned a new flight number caused the plane to again sit on the tarmac for hours without being given permission to take off.
After frustration boiled over and police were later summoned to the gate, the flight was again canceled for the day. Following another round of delays the next afternoon, Joyce says the plane eventually departed late Tuesday evening.
“We fully appreciate how frustrating this experience has been, and have apologized to our customers for the long delay to their flight,” a British Airways spokesperson told the newspaper in a statement on Wednesday. “We provided refreshments, hotel accommodation and help with expenses during the delay, and the flight departed yesterday.”