Ryanair ‘Flight from Hell’ Forced to Land After Mass Brawl over Seats

Ryanair plane
Aurelijus Valeiša/Flickr

Ryanair passengers have called their recent trip from Morocco to the U.K. a “flight from hell” after it was forced to land during a “mass brawl” before being canceled altogether.

The London Stansted Airport-bound flight was forced to return to Agadir Al-Massira International Airport after less than 40 minutes in the air due to a fight erupting over seating assignments, the Sun reported. 

The altercation reportedly began when a man in his late 20s asked a woman traveling with her daughter if he could have her seat to be closer to his wife and children. When the woman declined, the man allegedly threatened her. 

The cabin crew appeared to be unaware of the tension brewing amongst the passengers, and the flight took off as normal. 

Once the plane reached 30,000 feet altitude and the seatbelt-on light was turned off, the husband of the woman who refused to move allegedly confronted the other man. 

Punches were “thrown between the two men while Ryanair staff attempted to intervene,” the outlet reported, citing witness accounts from other passengers.

A British traveler who asked not to be named told the publication that after the men began swinging at each other, “One of the families was part of a larger group so other passengers started to join in.”

“Then a lady in the row behind started to have a panic attack because of everything going on. She was screaming and there were kids crying. It was like a snowball effect.”

The disgruntled passenger continued, “We were only in the air for 36 minutes before we had to do an unexpected landing. It was so stressful.”

Another male passenger even became sick during the scuffle on the flight and required oxygen to be administered to him by staff.

“It was like the flight from hell. And it all escalated from that one passenger wanting to change seats,” the anonymous witness added.

As the Ryanair employees desperately tried to defuse the situation and treat the unwell passenger, the pilot diverted the flight to Marrakesh, Morocco. 

Once it was back on the ground, Moroccan police and medics boarded the plane.

Nine people involved in the brawl were arrested and removed from the aircraft. Medics deemed the man who experienced the medical event to be unfit to fly, but he refused to get off. 

The chaos continued, with video obtained by the Sun capturing several passengers’ shouts as the protesting man refused to leave and accused authorities of assuming he was a “terrorist.”

“They think I’m a terrorist. That’s why they’re bringing the whole army here to take me down,” the irate man said. “Give me my f****** bag. I will whack your jaw bruv.”

Other passengers yelled at him to get off the plane, and after nearly two hours, he was finally removed by police.

Because of the time it took for all the disruptive passengers to be removed, the crew’s maximum flight time had passed, and Ryanair was forced to cancel the flight and rebook the approximately 200 other guests on a flight the following morning.

While the airline did arrange for transport and lodging for the night, the tired guests were still not able to get to London when their flight was canceled again the following morning. 

When the cabin crew finally arrived for the third scheduled flight the passengers were meant to take to the U.K., passengers reportedly “booed” them. 

The remaining travelers did not get to London until Thursday evening, according to the Sun.

A Ryanair representative gave the company’s explanation for the ordeal in a statement obtained by the outlet:

This flight from Agadir to London Stansted diverted to Marrakesh after a small group of passengers became disruptive, and during which time another passenger became ill onboard.

Crew called ahead for both medical and police assistance, which met the aircraft upon arrival at Marrakesh.

As it took almost two hours in total to treat and offload these disruptive passengers, during which time the rest of the passengers remained onboard, the crew reached their permitted flying hours, and caused the flight to be delayed overnight.

The statement ended with an apology to the passengers, with the spokesperson blaming the incident on “a small group of disruptive passengers, which was out of Ryanair’s control.”


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