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Economy Flyer Uses Business Lav, Gets Handcuffed & Booted

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An Air Berlin passenger claims she was escorted off her flight in handcuffs after becoming sick in a business class lavatory, while the airline claims they were left with no choice.

Air Berlin and a disgruntled female flyer are offering two different stories as to how and why she was escorted off an aircraft. Slovakian Edita Kmetova, 50, says she was removed from an Air Berlin flight in handcuffs after becoming ill onboard, but the airline is defending its decision to escort her off the flight.

Kmetova claims the incident occurred while she was aboard a flight from Vienna to Abu Dhabi last week, when she had a sudden onset of airsickness and needed to use the lavatory. According to her account, the economy class restrooms were occupied, requiring her to run to the business class lavatory for relief, even though passengers in that section of the plane objected to her being there.

When she exited the lavatory, Kmetova alleges she was met outside by cabin crew, angry passengers and one of the pilots. Kmetova was reportedly handcuffed after an argument ensued, and the pilot decided to make an emergency landing at Erzurum Airport (ERZ) in Turkey to have her removed from the aircraft.

“They then abandoned me in Erzurum, a place I could not even find on a map if I tried,” Kmetova told local BGN News. “I was left all alone. At that point, I broke down into tears.”

The airline is disputing Kmetova’s recollection of events. A spokesperson for Air Berlin told the Daily Mail Kmetova was “disruptive” on the flight and although “the crew did everything possible to calm the guest and ensure the safety on board,” the diversion was necessary.

“Due to the passenger’s aggressive behavior towards the crew and other travelers, however, it was not possible to continue with the flight as planned. As Air Berlin places a great deal of importance on in-flight safety, the pilots decided to make an unscheduled stop at Erzurum in Turkey, where the passenger was handed over to the police.”

The pilot reportedly refused to allow Kmetova back onboard after the incident. The night manager at ERZ, Abubekir Özcan, took to Facebook to share how upsetting the entire ordeal was.

“The business class toilet is used by a few people while the economy class serves almost 200, when she used it, things got out of hand,” wrote Özcan. “When we were contacted, we thought something serious had happened … When I approached her I saw an elderly woman crying and she was handcuffed. She was the only Slovakian on the plane. The rest were Austrians. I had her handcuffs removed and escorted her out of the plane.”

[Photo: iStock]

Comments are Closed.
payam81 November 2, 2015

@skoullias if you can wait 20 minutes in line, your business is NOT urgent.

lperruso October 29, 2015

The airlines themselves are to blame for a lot of the hostility. It seems obvious that way too many people are expected to use the lavs in the economy seats. And on international flights, where passengers are in the air for 10 or more hours it's outrageous. Airlines should consider the dangers of so many people standing in the isles. I understand that business class passengers don't want to share the lavs with economy travelers, but I bet they really loved the "detour" to Turkey.

Flying Lawyer October 29, 2015

The headline is obviously (a) showing that the writer did poor research, (b) is hashing for clicks and (c) only tells half of the story. Beside that it appears to be a plain copy of what was published by the Daily Mail in the UK. With only a bit own research it would have been easy to find out that it was not an AB flight but a Niki (HG) flight. Albeit HB belongs to AB it is an airline of its own under its own flight HG flight number. And right, the pilot did not take an easy decision because that idiot passenger - according to the airline - tried to bite and kick the flight attendants. You need to hear the other party too - pretty old wisdom for any serious journalist. What we read here is a poor piece of journalism by Joe Cortez.

October 29, 2015

"lovakian Edita Kmetova, 50, says she was removed..." "When I approached her I saw an elderly woman crying and she was handcuffed." 50 is now elderly? Yikes! :)

walkup October 29, 2015

Sounds as if she entered the business class section with an attitude problem.