Passengers protest on Middle East Airlines flight
Passengers on a Middle East Airlines flight from London Heathrow (UK) to Beirut (Lebanon) launched a protest after being delayed for almost seven hours due to a thunderstorm.
The carrier’s Airbus A330 had missed its original departure slot at 1pm, and then aborted a later takeoff at 5pm. Eventually, a third slot at 7.30pm was announced, at which stage the passengers were arguing with crew, raiding the galleys and engaging in ‘fisticuffs’, according to media reports.
A Lebanese woman passenger was said to have suffered ‘heart palpitations’, and a male passenger needed to be given oxygen, reported the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper.
“The atmosphere was very tense and a middle-aged man told the crew member he was an idiot,” stated one passenger. “And that was when the pushing and shoving began.”
Up to eight police officers boarded the plane at 5.50pm but there were no arrests after the fracas and flight ME202 eventually took off for Lebanon at 8pm, apparently with all passengers still onboard.