A commercial passenger plane was forced to make an unscheduled stop in Graz, Austria on Saturday after one of the passenger’s locked himself in the lavatory at the very start of the flight and refused to come out according to local police.
Edelweiss Air flight WK371 from Larnaca in Cyprus to Zurich had to make an emergency landing in Graz at around 1:15 pm on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks after the passenger’s strange behaviour prompted a diversion for security checks to be conducted.
The Airbus A320 aircraft landed without incident and a 51-year-old Russian man was removed and questioned by border police but he was later released without charge. Police and crew searched the lavatory but after nothing was found, the plane was allowed to continue onto Zurich.
Unfortunately, for the passenger, the plane left without him and he was forced to continue his journey onto Zurich by train. The journey involves changing trains twice and can take more than 10 hours. The flight from Graz to Zurich took less than an hour.
“The passenger behaved cooperatively towards the police and voluntarily showed them all his luggage,” a spokesperson for the Graz state police explained. “No dangerous objects could be found. During his interview, he did not provide any information about the reasons for his behavior,” a statement continued.
Also on Saturday, passengers on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Beijing were forced to evacuate via the emergency slides after a bomb threat against the plane was phoned into police.
Witnesses recounted how flight attendants started searching through the overhead lockers after the Airbus A330 aircraft landed at Beijing Capital Airport. After a few minutes, the flight attendants ordered an evacuation resulting in several passengers receiving cuts and scrapes.
Passengers were then forced to wait on the tarmac while security forces conducted a sweep of the aircraft. No arrests have been made according to police.
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.