Skip to comments.Air-rage passenger dumped on paradise island
Posted on 12/29/2005 12:58:18 PM PST by proxy_user
A drunken passenger who abused cabin crew on a flight to Tenerife spent 36 hours castaway after the airline abandoned him on a tiny island in the Atlantic, 300 miles from his destination.
Monarch Airlines said that the man became rude and aggressive towards staff shortly after flight ZB558 took off from Manchester on Tuesday evening.
When he refused to calm down, the pilot took the decision to divert the plane and make an unscheduled stop-off at an airstrip on the tiny Portuguese island of Porto Santo.
The passenger was frogmarched out - and his luggage removed from the hold - before the Airbus A321 carrying 200 other passengers took off again, leaving him behind.
Porto Santo, described as an unspoilt island paradise with a population of fewer than 5,000, is a two-hour ferry ride away from the nearest major airport on Madeira.
An officer at the airport's police station told Times Online that the man had remained on the island until this morning, when he managed to book a seat on a German charter flight to the Canary Islands.
A spokesman for Monarch, the Italian-owned operation based in Manchester, explained that the man had put the safety of other passengers in danger.
"Despite repeated attempts by Monarch staff to calm the individual, the passengers behaviour did not improve and the decision was taken to divert to Porto Santo at 1955 where the passenger was removed," he said.
"The action was taken in the interests of all the passengers. That sort of behaviour is not acceptable. He was the given the chance to calm down and he declined it. He was given a form, a caution for his behaviour, and he refused to sign it."
A spokeswoman for British Airways said that the airline operated a "yellow card" policy under which disruptive passengers were issued with a written warning and then arrested an the destination airport if they continued to misbehave.
She said that only in the most extreme cases - and only once before on record - would a plane be diverted and the passenger removed.
Keith Bill, of British Airline Pilots Association, said that the captain of any aircraft has wide-ranging powers to deal with troublemakers who threaten the safety of other passengers.
He said: "There's no doubt that the captain was acting within his rights to take this action. Pilots feel very strongly that anyone who puts the lives of the crew or passengers at risk ought also to be punished by the courts."
Porto Santo, formerly under Portuguese control, earned its reputation as the desert island of legend because of its almost complete absence of vegetation. It is a two-hour ferry trip from Madeira.
But its inhabitants have enjoyed a new-found wealth in recent years as the place where Madeirians like to go to get away from the tourists.
It was discovered by the Portuguese adventurer Joao Goncalves Zarco, a protege of Prince Henry the Navigator, in 1418 and was once the home of Christopher Columbus who married the governors daughter before heading off to discover the New World.
Well, at least they landed before they kicked his tuckus off the plane..
"We know you have your choice of airlines and thank you for choosing Monarch. We hope you enjoy your stay in Porto Santo or wherever your final destination may be."
If I get unruly and rude enough in my office, I wonder if somebody will banish me to an island paradise.
"Porto Santo, formerly under Portuguese control"
Isn't it still under Portuguese control?
|L O S T|
Sotta like getting kicked off the Santa Fe Chief---at LUDLOW CA.
Don't they have islands with cannibals anymore?
I blame society. No really I do. Society is one f'd up ball of hypocrisy to classify booze as anything other than a poison.
People tend to get belligerent when drunk. Film at 5:00.
Boss! Boss! De Plane! De Plane!....
Maybe he killed time partying with Ginger and Maryann.
Couldn't they have saved time by doing a low pass over the island and pushing him out the door?
Frogmarched? What exactly is frogmarching? I thought only Republicans were frogmarched, as in Karl Rove according to Joe Wilson. Anyone got a picture or cartoon of marching frogs?