Ground crew grabbed smoking passenger as he tried to board easyJet plane while it is being refuelled, stamp his cigarette out and bundle him away on bus at Luton airport
- The unnamed man in his 40s was boarding a flight to Geneva at Luton airport
- He was escorted back to the airport but his family were still allowed to board
- Other passengers said that they were ‘outraged’ by the passenger’s ‘stupidity’
An easyJet passenger was grabbed by ground crew and bundled on to a bus after holding a lit cigarette while boarding a flight that was refuelling with thousands of gallons of aviation fuel.
The unnamed man in his 40s was set to fly out to Geneva at 7.30am yesterday from Luton airport.
He came within a few metres of the plane that was refuelling with thousands of gallons of aviation fuel when he decided to pull out a cigarette and start smoking.
A male, easyJet passenger (dressed in black) was grabbed by ground crew and bundled on to a bus after holding a lit cigarette while boarding a flight that was refuelling
The unnamed man in his 40s was set to fly to Geneva at 7.30am yesterday from Luton airport
He was quickly spotted by a member of easyJet’s ground crew who ran over to him, grabbed the cigarette and stubbed it out on the ground.
The smoker, who was travelling with his family, was then banned from boarding the flight by the plane’s pilot and escorted away on a shuttle bus.
But his family were allowed to continue their journey.
Sara Beecroft, 43, was on board the flight at the time and said she was ‘absolutely outraged and in disbelief’ after witnessing the smoker’s ‘absolute stupidity’.
She also said that she saw the female member of the aviation team immediately running over to him before she ‘grabbed the cigarette out of his hand and stubbed it out.’
The passenger, who had been travelling with his family, was then banned from boarding the flight by the plane’s pilot and escorted away on a shuttle bus
The mother-of-two, from St Albans, Hertfordshire, said: ‘It was outrageous, everyone was going crazy – we could’ve died. It doesn’t bare to think what could’ve happened.
‘It was just an act of stupidity. He endangered the life of everyone on the plane.
‘It could’ve blown us up, I mean what was he thinking.
‘Everybody couldn’t believe it, we were all outraged there was lots of passengers shouting.
‘The stupidity of it all and obviously he is now going to face the consequences of that.
‘It was a moment of madness, it was like he just wasn’t thinking or forgot where he was.’
Other passengers who were on board at the time said that they were ‘outraged’ by his ‘stupidity’
Another passenger, Gideon Carroll, chief executive of fuel retail firm EdgePetrol, said the smoker’s actions could have caused ‘extreme danger’ to all passengers.
He added: ‘I couldn’t believe my senses when I could smell the cigarette smoke. People were worried that he could’ve blown everybody up.
‘It just could’ve been catastrophic. I almost did a double take at him, I couldn’t believe my eyes.’
Gideon said the pilot came down from the aircraft and said the smoker was not allowed to fly but that his family could continue their journey.
He added: ‘It was nice to see the ground staff dealing with it very quickly. It is incredible that really happened.
‘I have never seen anything like that in my career. As a passenger on the flight it was pleasing to see the staff had zero tolerance.’
An easyJet spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that a passenger on flight EZY2051 from London Luton to Geneva was denied boarding due to behaving disruptively prior to departure.
‘Our staff are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time.
‘Whilst such incidents are rare we take them very seriously and do not tolerate disruptive behaviour.
‘The safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is always easyJet’s priority.’
A London Luton Airport spokesperson said: ‘The safety of our passengers is our number one priority and we will not tolerate disruptive behaviour in any form.’