18 Brits booted off British Airways flight after one ‘threatened to blow up plane and others made antisemitic jokes’ while travelling from Israel to Heathrow
EIGHTEEN Brit tourists were hauled off a plane in Israel after one of them allegedly threatened to blow up the aircraft.
The passengers, who were all male, were ejected from the British Airways plane at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv.
Some of the group, who were all male, are alleged to have made antisemitic jokes about other passengers after boarding the flight to London Heathrow yesterday.
The Israel Airports Authority said: “After they sat down on the plane, one of the members of the group said he would blow up the plane.
“The captain informed the airline in London and received an order to remove the group from the plane.”
After the Brits were led away by security, the plane was swept for explosives which resulted in a two hour delay for the other passengers on board.
The group who had been kicked off the flight were not allowed to re-board the aircraft.
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Passenger Richard Andrews, 49, from Croydon in south London, told the Independent: “If somebody did say something about blowing the plane up I think it will have been to the people immediately around them – it wasn’t something that was shouted out.
“But it’s not something that anybody in the right frame of mind would be saying on a plane anywhere.”
Mr Andrews, who had been on holiday in Tel Aviv with friends, said the men thrown off the plane were “fairly well-dressed”, appeared to be aged in their early to mid-thirties, and seemed to be drunk.
He added: “My friend heard them saying something which she said to me were antisemitic jokes or comments about the people sitting around them. They were just being insulting about the people around them.
“I think there was one person who was going further with his behaviour, beyond really poor taste jokes. He was the one who seemed to be more forcibly ejected from the plane”.
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The flight, that was supposed to depart at 4.40pm, eventually took off at 7pm local time.
A British Airways spokesman said: “The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority.
“We take these matters extremely seriously, and the appropriate action will always be taken.”
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