Terror of flight as passenger tries to open door shouting ‘see you in paradise’
The TUI flight was diverted to Zagreb in Croatia after reports of a disruptive passenger. Photo / Jan Rosolino, Unsplash
A plane loaded with travellers, including families, feared for their lives after a disorderly passenger had to be restrained from the plane’s door, shouting “see you all in heaven!”
A passenger, Mel Brown – 32 – was returning with her children from a holiday in Cyprus when she witnessed the ordeal.
The disruptive traveler started acting “very aggressive and threatening”, she told The Sun, on the TUI service to Manchester.
The incident began when the passenger – allegedly drunk – began to sit in the aisle, asking passengers to join him in prayer.
Things started when, instead of returning to his seat, he allegedly ran for the emergency exit latches. The mother-of-two said she felt her family was in danger.
Two off-duty police officers were able to help restrain the problematic passenger, pulling him away from the gate and putting him on the ground.
TUI confirmed that the service, which was diverted to Zagreb in Croatia, was affected by a “very disruptive” passenger and was “unloaded” in Zagreb.
“Honestly, I thought I was going to die and never see my family or my kids again,” Brown said.
The mother-of-two told local media that the passenger behaved erratically in the terminal, before boarding.
“I’m not the only person who thought about it. It was awful, there were so many women screaming and screaming for help and screaming, ‘Oh my God, my children’. All the children were crying and screaming in the plane.”
After this strange behavior continued on the plane, the man continued to pace the aisle and lock himself in the toilet.
“…All of a sudden, he just jumped in the middle of the plane near the emergency exit and was waving to everyone, praying really loudly in a different language,” he said. she declared.
After being cleared to land in Zagrab, the captain descended very quickly – adding that “we were literally falling from the sky”, Brown said.
“In English he would say things like, ‘Everyone needs to start praying, I’ll see you all in heaven’.”
TUI apologized for the delay and diversion, but added that such incidents were “extremely rare”.
Most of the passengers had already been delayed to a later service, as the crew had already reached their maximum hours of safe operation, postponing departure to Monday August 15. Following the diversion, Brown and his family were then held for a second night at a hotel in Zagreb.
The flight’s late and disrupted arrival in Zagreb caused chaos as passengers waited to be accommodated.
A TUI airline spokesman said they apologized for the further disruption to their flight, but the plane was diverted for security reasons.
“We take a zero-tolerance approach to disruptive behavior on our flights.”
TUI said its team was on the ground in Croatia, supporting affected passengers with accommodation and meals.