Cabin crew criticised for failing to restrain crazed passenger


Paul Douglas: Passengers were fobbed off that maniac was an “uneasy flyer”.

A SCOTS airline passenger has criticised cabin crew for failing to stop a crazed passenger trying to open a door in mid air.

The EasyJet flight from Krakow to Edinburgh was forced to

“nose dive’ to safety after a British man tried the door at 35,000ft.

Passenger Paul Douglas claims crew allowed the clearly-disturbed man to walk around the cabin without taking action. He said they were fobbed off with claims the man was an

“uneasy flyer.”

And Mr Douglas is incredulous that the man was even allowed on the flight after his behaviour drew the attention of Polish police at the airport.

The 42-year-old from Kirkcaldy, Fife, said of the May 11 flight:

“We had first noticed the man when we were in the departure lounge at Krakow and we immediately thought he was a bit strange.

“He tried to talk to us but he was very strange and we told him to go away. We then noticed that the police were talking to him and he was moved to the front of the boarding queue. “

Mr Douglas, a butcher, added:

“When we got on the plane, he first tried to come and sit where me and my friends were but there was no room and he then continually walked up and down the aisle. “

“We told the cabin crew we were concerned about him and so did other passengers but we were just told that he was an uneasy flyer. “

“He then stood by the door and started looking at the emergency instruction cards, put on his jacket and bag and tried to open the door. “

Mr Douglas claimed that fellow passengers, rather than cabin crew, acted to avoided disaster.

He said:

“They did their best but had it not been for the other passengers things could have got a lot worse.

“I don’t think the cabin crew were equipped to deal with this sort of situation. “

“A big Polish guy really held the guy down and there was quite a lot of blood as the man really fought back.

“Some people said they saw an air hostess hit him with her shoe and bite him. “

Mr Douglas believes that the man should not have been flying in the first place, adding:

“They say that it is impossible to open those doors but try being at 35,000 feet and seeing someone try. “

“There was a lot of screaming and it was definitely the scariest situation I’ve ever been in. “

The pilots on flight EZY6940 diverted the plane to Amsterdam in a move that Mr Douglas called

“a nose dive.”

The man was met by the army and police and arrested.

Passengers from the flight spent seven hours in Amsterdam being questioned by police before being put on a flight back to Edinburgh.

A spokesman for Easyjet said:

“‘Easyjet can confirm that flight EZY6940, operating from Krakow to Edinburgh on 11 May 2011, was diverted to Amsterdam following a passenger becoming disruptive onboard the aircraft.

“The aircraft landed safely at the airport and the passenger was arrested on arrival by the Dutch police. The flight then continued its journey to Edinburgh.

“Safety is Easyjet’s number one priority. The crew are fully trained to handle such events and at no time was the safety of the passengers compromised. “