A woman allegedly stripped to her underwear and tried to storm the flight deck of a recent Jet2 flight from Larnaca, Cyprus to Manchester as she shouted “Allahu Akbar” but it is claimed cabin crew didn’t step in and intervene because they weren’t authorised to restrain the unruly passenger.
Jet2 flight LS944 was forced to divert to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in the early hours of Tuesday morning where police officers took the woman into custody after she made threats against the aircraft.
35-year-old Phillip O’Brien who was onboard the plane told the Daily Mail that the woman tried to storm the flight deck on two separate occasions before she was eventually restrained – not by flight attendants but by panic-stricken passengers.
Things allegedly went wrong only shortly after takeoff into the scheduled four-and-a-half-hour flight from Cyprus to England. O’Brien says the woman marched down the aisle in only her underwear and started to bang on the flight deck door while shouting “Allahu Akbar”.
The disruption rattled other passengers but the woman wasn’t restrained and instead went on to suggest explosives were onboard the plane.
“It was just crazy. At first it looked like she was drunk – she had the suitcase on her head,” another passenger told the Daily Mail. “The cabin crew said she wasn’t drunk as they had smelt her breath.”
The passenger said it didn’t feel like a terrorist incident despite the woman’s threats.
When she started banging on the flight deck door for a second time, O’Brien says he helped tackle her and take her to the ground while the plane was diverted to Paris.
On arrival, local law enforcement boarded the aircraft and took the woman into custody. In a short statement, a spokesperson for Jet2 confirmed the flight was forced to divert due to a “disruptive passenger”.
Any attempt by a passenger to breach the flight deck is generally considered a grave threat which would normally warrant an emergency diversion to the nearest airport capable of handling the aircraft in question.
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.