EXCLUSIVE I tackled a ‘drunk’ passenger to stop him opening the aircraft door mid-flight
EXCLUSIVE I tackled a ‘drunk’ passenger to prevent him from opening the plane’s door mid-flight – and had to restrain him for over an hour when the plane crash-landed and the police arrived
A British tourist returning from a holiday in Turkey with his wife and teenage daughter had to restrain a ‘drunken’ passenger for an hour after he threatened to open the plane’s door.
The Jet2 flight, bound for Glasgow and packed with holidaymakers traveling home from Bodrum, had to make an emergency landing in Bulgaria last night to remove the ‘disruptive’ passenger.
Anthony Spence, 52, described his agony when he woke up just ten minutes into the journey to see a man walking beside him towards the emergency exit.
“My father got up immediately when the man said, ‘I want to get off the plane, I’m going to open the door,'” his daughter Toni told MailOnline.
Mr Spence, from Glasgow, was forced to restrain the man until the plane landed – and continued to do so until police in Sofia came on board to arrest the rowdy passenger.
Holidaymaker Anthony Spence, 52, (pictured) described his fear just ten minutes into the trip when he woke up to see the man walking next to him towards the emergency exit
Police in Sofia boarded the plane and arrested the man after he claimed he had tried to open the plane’s door mid-flight
The father and daughter said the man, who they believe is from Glasgow, “shouldn’t have come on the run” which was filled with dozens of young families.
Just ten minutes into the flight, Anthony, who had been sleeping, awoke when a packet of crisps burst.
Then he noticed that the man next to him was acting suspiciously. “I saw him walking to the door… I thought ‘he’s going to open the goddamn door,'” Anthony said.
He added that he had no choice but to restrain the man. “When he jumped over the chairs to get to the door, I grabbed him and pressed him against the chair so he couldn’t get to the door.”
He struggled to stop him, he said, but no one came to his aid except two flight attendants, who he said were not strong enough to stop the man.
“Only me and the flight attendants tried to get him under control – no other passengers decided to help until the last minute, only because my wife and daughter were yelling to the rest of the plane “Help my husband”, “Help my dad”, because I was the only one who could stop him from getting up.’
Anthony (left) and his 16-year-old daughter Toni said the man, who they believe is from Glasgow, ‘shouldn’t have been on the run’
Toni said she and her mother feared for Anthony’s safety during the hour-long ordeal, and more needs to be done to prevent it from happening again.
“He shouldn’t have gotten on the plane,” she and her father agreed.
“They have to make sure this doesn’t happen again, there were children on the run.”
Images of the man’s arrest were obtained by MailOnline.
It shows the man stumbling and appearing to resist officers as he is bundled down the plane’s aisle, while enraged passengers yell “son of a bitch” and “idiot” at him.
The incident occurred around 22:00 BST on night flight LS124. Passengers said they finally landed in Glasgow in the early hours of Monday morning.
A spokesman for Jet2 said: ‘Flight LS124 from Bodrum to Glasgow was diverted to Sofia Airport last night so that a disruptive passenger could be unloaded by police. After a short delay, the flight continued to Glasgow.
“We would like to apologize to all affected customers for the inconvenience. As a family-friendly airline, we have zero tolerance for disruptive passenger behavior, and the health, comfort and well-being of everyone will always be our number one priority.”