British Airways cabin crew forced to restrain violent passenger on Singapore flight

Helen Coffey
A BA flight was disrupted by a violent passenger: istock

A male passenger had to be restrained by cabin crew on a British Airways flight after allegedly trying to punch fellow travellers.

The unnamed man was filmed being held down by crew and passengers while they used what appeared to be seatbelts to form a harness to keep him in place.

The incident occurred on 5 December on a flight from London Heathrow to Singapore.

He allegedly tried to punch fellow passengers after drinking a bottle of duty free spirits, another traveller told the Sun Online.

“It was about three hours after we took off – this passenger sitting in front of us was getting more and more agitated,” she said, adding that he kept getting worse despite the crew’s attempts to calm him down.

”He was jumping up and trying to punch other passengers and this really tough-looking bloke had to step in.”

She said the other man pinned him down in an arm lock and held him there until the crew could strap him to a seat.

Police met the flight at Singapore airport and escorted the passenger off the flight.

A British Airways spokesperson told The Independent: “The crew onboard reassured customers, moved nearby passengers to alternative seats, and arranged for police to meet the aircraft.

“This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated, and the appropriate action will always be taken.

“Our customers and crews should be able to enjoy their flights, and not suffer any form of abuse.”

The incident comes after the government launched a call for evidence in November to determine whether airports should be subject to alcohol licensing laws.

The review was in response to rising numbers of drunk and disorderly incidents on flights – a report by the Civil Aviation Authority found there were 418 instances of disruptive behaviour by passengers on UK flights in 2016, more than double the previous year’s total.

Brian Strutton, general secretary of Balpa, said: “Excessive alcohol consumption and disruptive behaviour is a growing concern, and beyond the potential threat they cause to the safety of the aircraft, air crew should not be expected to deal with violent or abusive passengers.

“We do not want to prevent passengers from enjoying a drink in the airport – we simply believe that alcohol sold in the airport should be done responsibly and excessive consumption not encouraged. Removing the exemption would do just that.”

In July, a campaign called ‘One Too Many’ was launched at 10 airports across the UK warning British passengers against drunk and disorderly behaviour.