This is the shocking moment a member of easyJet cabin crew was violently headbutted by a drunken passenger at Paris Charles de Gaul airport. The mobile phone footage caught by another passenger onboard the delayed plane on Friday night shows the cabin crew member being comforted by colleagues as police pin the suspect to the ground following the assault.
easyJet flight U23833 had been set to depart Paris, bound for Palma de Mallorca at 9.10pm on Friday 29th June but air traffic control restrictions which have been plaguing airline operations throughout Europe for most of the summer had delayed the flight’s departure for several hours.
According to witnesses on the plane who have been quoted by the tabloid newspaper, The Sun, several passengers had been drinking heavily in the terminal while waiting for the flight to eventually board.
When the plane was finally ready to board, witnesses say around four passengers started acting aggressively and were asked to leave. Police had to be called and it was while law enforcement was removing the men that one of them lashed out and seemingly headbutted and then choked a male member of cabin crew in the forward galley of the Airbus A320.
Wearing a black slogan t-shirt, the man is dragged off the victim by police officers and wrestled to the ground. Officers struggle to handcuff the drunken passenger as he initially resists arrest before they eventually manage to subdue him with handcuffs.
The flight attendant, who was visibly dazed and upset, was quickly comforted by a colleague as his attacker is arrested. The Sun reports one witness saying the passenger assaulted the cabin crew member because he had “lost his patience” – although it’s still unclear whether anything else led up to the assault.
Following the incident, the flight was unsurprisingly cancelled and passengers only departed for Mallorca the following morning. In a statement, easyJet said it was “aware of this disruptive passenger incident onboard prior to take-off which was extremely distressing for the crew and passengers onboard.”
The statement continued:
“The police were called to assist the crew in dealing with the incident and arrested the passenger. We will not tolerate threatening or violent behaviour towards our crew and will be pushing for prosecution.”
“We are doing all possible to support the crew members who were subject to this unacceptable behaviour. The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority.”
Air traffic control restrictions caused by strikes and staff shortages in some regions of Europe have had a huge knock-on effect across the entire continent. Several airline chiefs have publicly complained about the issue, saying it is one of the biggest challenges facing European airlines at the moment.
The restrictions have led to thousands of flights either being delayed or cancelled in the last few weeks alone.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.