A Jet2 passenger who was arrested after causing severe disruption on board a flight from London to Turkey on June 22, reportedly attempted to open the emergency exit mid-air before crew members intervened.
Speaking to the The Sun, Amy Varol, 24, who sat two rows behind the offending passenger on the flight to Dalaman, described the moment the woman “had her hands on exit door” before crew members pulled her to the ground.
“The woman was walking down the aisle when she literally ran to the exit door,” Varol said.
“She had her hands on the handle trying to open it. Luckily there were two cabin crew there who pulled her off the door.”
Varol, a community care worker, told The Sun the woman was restrained after she attacked fellow passengers and cabin crew, and later threatened to kill everyone.
“She started assaulting the two crew members, a woman and a man,” Varol recalled.
“A big guy then literally threw her down to the floor and there was one person holding one arm and another person holding the other.”
“Then a man sat on her and one person was holding her leg and someone else holding the other one,” she added.
“That’s when she started screaming ‘get off me,’ ‘I’m going to kill everyone.'”
So I get on a plane to turkey after being in the air for 45 mins some drunk lady (may be on drugs too) attacks the cabin crew and then tried to open the airplane door!! 6 people are holding her down, she’s screaming biting people and now she’s in a seat being held down
— Amiy Varol (@AmiyVarol) 22 June 2019
Varol described the incident as chaotic, with children crying and other passengers hiding at the back of the plane in fear.
“The whole plane started screaming as the crew tried to get her off the door. Everyone all of a sudden jumped up and panicked,” she explained.
Varol wrote on Twitter that she believed the woman was intoxicated and possibly on drugs, describing how she assaulted staff 45 minutes into the journey to Turkey.
“So I get on a plane to turkey after being in the air for 45 minutes some drunk lady (may be on drugs too) attacks the cabin crew and then tried to open the airplane door!!” Varol wrote
“6 people are holding her down, she’s screaming biting people and now she’s in a seat being held down by 4 people and my brother and cousin,” she continued.
“It’s awful everyone’s screaming and crying. Now we’re back at Stansted waiting for the police to come and get her! I will get to turkey!”
by 4 people and my brother and cousin.. it’s awful everyone’s screaming and crying. Now we’re back at stansted waiting for the police to come and get her! I will get to turkey!!!
— Amiy Varol (@AmiyVarol) 22 June 2019
Two Royal Air Force (RAF) jets escorted the plane back to Stansted Airport after it was forced to turn around following the disruption.
The woman was arrested and taken into custody by local authorities when the flight returned, and faces charges of assault and endangering an aircraft.
A Jet2 spokesperson told Fox News: “We are aware of an incident regarding an extremely disruptive passenger on a flight from Stansted to Dalaman yesterday. The aircraft returned safely and we are liaising with the relevant authorities to support their investigation.”
Greater London residents contacted emergency services after they heard a sonic boom caused by the two RAF jets—a pair of Typhoon fighters—fearing there had been an explosion.
The noise was described by one man as a “huge bang” that “nearly blew my window out,” reported The Guardian.
Large number of 999 calls coming in about a loud explosion. We have liaised with @EssexPoliceUK who are confirming that this is a sonic boom from a passing aircraft.
— B Stortford Police (@BStortPolice) 22 June 2019
Bishop’s Stortford police posted on Twitter: “Large number of 999 calls coming in about a loud explosion. We have liaised with @EssexPoliceUK who are confirming that this is a sonic boom from a passing aircraft.”
A spokesperson for the Royal Air Force told The Sun in a statement, “We can confirm that RAF quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Coningsby scrambled to escort a commercial flight into Standard shortly after take-off due to reports of a disruptive passenger.”