An EasyJet passenger was forcibly removed from a plane by police after she “endangered” the flight by smoking in the toilet.
Police in Liverpool escorted an unidentified female passenger traveling from Italy to England off the plane after she allegedly sneaked a smoke in the lavatory and put “the whole plane in danger,” the Liverpool Echo reported.
Alarmed fellow passengers aboard the Oct. 4 EasyJet flight EZY7216 reportedly notified the plane’s crew as to the woman’s actions.
A witness told the Liverpool Echo “she was shaking and moving about a lot then I see her run to the front to the toilet. It was full so she ran down to the back and slammed the door. I thought she was sick at first but the cabin crew were knocking on the door and asking her to come out.”
After landing at Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport, the pilot asked passengers to stay in their seats while police officers escorted the woman off the plane.
Video footage taken on the flight has emerged, according to the Daily Mail, showing two officers escorting the woman from the back of the plane.
The captain thanked passengers for their patience, the Liverpool Echo reported.
“The passenger was removed for smoking in the toilet during the flight, putting the whole plane in danger. Thank you for waiting while crew and police dealt with the situation.”
She was “acting erratically” https://t.co/5nthgS1kb1
— Liverpool Echo (@LivEchonews) October 4, 2018
It was reported that a Merseyside Police spokeswoman said “We can confirm officers were called to a stand at Liverpool John Lennon Airport at around 12.50pm today, Thursday 4 October, to deal with a woman who had reportedly been smoking on an Easyjet plane which had landed from Naples.
“The woman, who was in her 30s and from the Liverpool area, was not arrested but escorted from the plane by officers and given a verbal warning.”
Representatives from the carrier said in a statement “EasyJet can confirm that flight EZY7216 from Naples to Liverpool was met by police on arrival in Liverpool due to a passenger behaving disruptively. EasyJet’s cabin crew are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time,” according to the Liverpool Echo.
“Whilst such incidents are rare we take them very seriously and do not tolerate abusive or threatening behavior onboard. The safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is always easyJet’s priority.”
In a separate EasyJet incident last month also involving a police response, travelers were upset when the carrier canceled a flight to Majorca because “crew were too tired,” Belfast Live reported.
Cornelia Dalipe of West Belfast told reporters, “Police were there even though there was no aggression from passengers and the crew was led out a separate door.”
“We couldn’t believe what we were being told. There are many people who work 12-14 hour shifts and just get on with it.”
According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which has jurisdiction in the UK, disruptive behavior on a flight can carry a prison sentence.
“The punishment for disruption varies depending on the severity. Acts of drunkenness on an aircraft face a maximum fine of £5,000 ($6550) and two years in prison. The prison sentence for endangering the safety of an aircraft is up to five years. Disruptive passengers may also be asked to reimburse the airline with the cost of the diversion. Diversion costs typically range from £10,000 – £80,000 ($13,000 – $105,000) depending on the size of the aircraft and where it diverts to,” the CAA states.
In one extreme case reported on by Metro, a British man who triggered a fire alarm on a Ryanair flight when he discarded the cigarette in the plane toilet’s bin, was initially jailed for four years and six months.
Later, a Court of Appeals ruled the sentence was too lenient and jailed 46-year-old John Cox for nine years and six months.