Two passengers were arrested at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport on Tuesday after they jumped from the jetbridge and clambered on top of a pushback tug in a desperate and last-ditch attempt to catch a flight.
The men, reportedly a father and son duo from Israel, had shown up late at the gate for an AnadoluJet flight to Tel Aviv on Tuesday afternoon and were denied boarding because the Airbus A321 aircraft was readying for departure.
By this point, the boarding door had been shut, and the jetbridge had been removed from the front of the aircraft, but the men noticed that the plane hadn’t yet left the gate, so they made a dash to catch the aircraft.
Video captured by another passenger in the terminal building showed the men climb down from the opening of the jetbridge and onto the tarmac below – a restricted area that passengers are not allowed.
Airport ground workers looked on in disbelief as the first man jumped onto the pushback tug, delaying the flight by over an hour.
The men were initially detained by airline employees before law enforcement arrived, and they were taken into custody. Despite the security incident, operations continued uninterrupted, sources claimed.
The incident happened on the same day that it was revealed a group of three young Israeli men had been held in Türkiye for more than a week after they were accused of harassing a female flight attendant on the short flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul.
Family members of the men admit that they filmed and laughed at the flight attendant as she took part in the safety demonstration, but they also reportedly stand accused of sexually harassing the crew member – an accusation that the men deny.
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.