After spending too long in the airport bar, a father and son took desperate measures to catch their plane – but ended up being held at gunpoint on the runway.
It’s a tale that’ll feel familiar to many. You’ve done the stressful bit: the queuing, the check-in, the security. As you pop your shoes and belt back on and lift your bag, the luminous glow of duty-free appears in the distance.
You hunker down in a Wetherspoons. If it’s the afternoon, you get a pint. If it’s nighttime, you get a pint. If it’s morning, you get a pint. Like a Las Vegas casino, time carries no rules in airports.
Antonio Loi, 65, and Tony, 40, were sitting enjoying a drink in a bar in Cagliari Airport in Sardinia on Tuesday (September 17).
In a rushed bid to catch their plane, they exited through a door which set an alarm off, sparking a whole bunch of consequences.
Tony Loi, who lives in London, branded the situation ‘ridiculous and stupid’.
As reported by The Sun, Tony said:
We usually board at a gate on the first floor so that’s where we were sitting but they boarded from below.
They said they called us but neither of us heard anything on the tannoy. My dad saw an easyJet plane outside and then saw that boarding was shut.
I ran downstairs towards the plane, I thought the stairs to the plane were still there, so I basically exited a door that put an alarm off.
After bursting through the door, Tony said he really believed they’d be let on the plane. However, despite the fact he insisted he ‘opened the wrong door, OK, but I’m not a criminal. I wanted to get on my plane’, the pair ended up in hot water.
Italian police held the pair at gunpoint, with Antonio telling the officers at the scene: ‘What are you doing? I want to catch this plane.’
Following the mayhem on the runway, the pair were taken to a small room where they were told they’d be fined £2,000 for the damage caused when opening the door.
Airport police officer Mimmo Bari told The Sun:
If it wasn’t so stupid it would be funny – although we did all have a laugh at these two idiots.
They had been drinking in a bar at the airport and missed the boarding announcements, by the time they realised what was happening the gate had closed.
It was a bit like a comedy scene as they had their wheelie suitcases with them but if it had been somewhere else they ran the risk of being shot.
In a statement, easyJet said:
We can confirm that two passengers were not allowed to travel on flight EZY3204 from Cagliari to London Stansted having arrived late to the gate.
They were subsequently arrested by the police as a result of behaving disruptively. The safety and wellbeing of passengers, crew and ground staff is always our priority.
Whilst such incidents are rare we take them very seriously and do not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour.
It’s a good travelling lesson: keep an eye on your gate number when flying.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.