Glasgow TUI flight to Turkey diverted as 'drunken' passenger dragged off plane

A TUI flight from Glasgow was forced to make an emergency landing after a 'drunken' passenger caused chaos mid-air.

The TOM778 flight to Antalya, in Turkey, set off from Glasgow Airport at 5.15pm on Friday. Moments later, the pilot was forced to make an unscheduled landing at Newcastle International Airport.

It comes after a passenger was said to be intoxicated before allegedly assaulting a member of cabin crew. Police officers came on board at Newcastle and removed him from the plane.

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Footage sent to Glasgow Live shows the man being dragged off the plane by officers as hundreds of frustrated passengers watch on. As a result of the delay, holidaymakers arrived to their destination over five hours later than planned.

A passenger said: "They were seen drunk while boarding the plane. He refused to surrender his own bottle of gin and became verbally abusive.

"An announcement was made 45 minutes after take-off that we were diverting with reason of unruly passenger. It took a further 45 minutes before we arrived at Newcastle, at around 7pm.

"Two police officers boarded the plane and handcuffed him but he became unsettled so two more officers came on board. His partner was also removed from the plane to a chorus of boos as she gave everyone the middle finger.

The disruptive passenger was removed.
The disruptive passenger was removed. -Credit:Supplied

"There were further delays in removing his bags from the hold. Cabin crew were replaced due to the serious event and exceeding hours.

"The plane was also refuelled having burnt off excess to allow safe emergency landing."

After waiting on the tarmac for five hours, the passenger added: "It was clearly distressing for the children on board and frustrating for all. The captain visited every passenger personally in the aftermath to answer questions.

"While a scenario crew were prepared for, there was slow information in whether we would proceed or disembark at Newcastle. They couldn’t let us off the plane due to border control issues.

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"It was very costly and disruptive to 200 people on board. TUI were very professional and appreciative of the patience of all."

After having an "unexpected start" to their holiday, it is understood that the airline offered each passenger a holiday voucher in compensation.

A TUI UK & I spokesperson said: "We’d like to apologise to customers on TOM778 from Glasgow to Antalya, who were required to divert to Newcastle due to a disruptive passenger on board the flight.

"Our goal is to ensure customers have the best possible flight experience, so this is not the way we wanted their holiday to start.

"The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and any unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated. The customer involved was offloaded from the aircraft and the flight was able to continue its journey.

"We have offered customers a gesture of goodwill in light of this disruption to the start of their holiday and to thank them for their patience and understanding. The flight departed Newcastle for Antalya at 22:50 last night, Friday 24 May."

We have contacted Northumbria Police for comment.

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