In-flight etiquette is a minefield. Reclining seats? Unacceptable. Smelly foods? Unacceptable, especially if it’s a Pepperami. Fist fight at 30,000 feet? Totally, unequivocally unacceptable.
Unfortunately passengers on a Ryanair flight from Brussels to Malta did not get this memo, as they started a fight on board.
A terrified onlooker filmed the incident, adding, ‘The fight went on for so long we thought they might be trying to open the doors and might bring the plane down’.
The Thursday evening flight was forced to land in Pisa after the brawl got out of hand and the assailants had to be restrained with belts by fellow passengers.
Tommy Engerer, the man who filmed the 10-minute chaotic incident, said:
It started when an elderly woman moved seats and told me they’d hit her on the head then a huge fight broke out when two Belgian men tried to intervene.
They were attacking everyone around them and one of the men even slapped a stewardess in the face.
They looked out of control as if they were on drink or drugs.
Engerer added, somewhat questionably, ‘They were eastern European – gypsy types – but spoke a bit of French as well and were incredibly aggressive.’
A Ryanair spokesperson said:
This flight from Brussels to Malta diverted to Pisa after a number of passengers became disruptive inflight.
The aircraft landed normally and four passengers were removed and detained by police upon arrival, before the aircraft continued to Malta.
We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority.
This is now a matter for local police.
For the violence and duress caused for the other passengers, we hope the aggressors are duly reprimanded.