Brawl erupts on Wizz Air plane after drunk British tourist refuses to sit down, making plane abort landing
Several British tourists have been arrested after a Wizz Air plane from Luton was forced to abort its landing at Budapest.
The Airbus A320, with around 170 passengers and crew on board, was almost at the end of its two-hour journey.
Flight 2208 was on its final approach to Ferihegy airport on the outskirts of the Hungarian capital when an unruly passenger left his seat in the middle of the cabin and went to the back of the aircraft, apparently to use the toilet.
Cabin crew instructed him to return to his seat. When he refused, they told the captain that, as the cabin was not secure, the aircraft could not land.
The pilots immediately performed a “go-around,” whereby the aircraft climbs rapidly and turns away from the airport.
The senior member of cabin crew explained what had happened over the public address system, and repeated the instruction that he must return to his seat.
When the man again refused, a group of other passengers – who appeared also to have been drinking heavily – left their seats, angry that the man had delayed their arrival in Budapest.
A brawl then ensued at the back of the aircraft.
After several punches had been thrown, enough order was restored for the plane to land. Following a circuit over northern Hungary, the plane arrived half an hour behind schedule.
Passengers were ordered to remain in their seats, but the people involved in the brawl stood up, collected their bags and walked to the back of the aircraft. The captain said he had called the police, an announcement greeted by applause from other travellers.
Two police officers boarded the plane at the front and walked through the cabin. They arrested the most disruptive passengers, believed to be two men and a women, and led them away down the rear stairs.
Serious incidents of air rage aboard planes to and from the UK are running at a rate of about one per day.