Drunk couple cuffed after Belfast to Faro plane fracas
A drunk couple were removed from a Belfast to Faro flight in handcuffs after becoming disruptive.
The incident happened last Saturday on an early morning easyJet flight from Belfast International Airport.
The ordeal began as fellow passengers were waiting to board their 6.30am flight when they noticed the couple in the airport bar.
A fellow passenger whose relatives were on the plane and who witnessed the scenes has questioned why the couple who had been "heavily drinking" were permitted on the flight.
Passengers reported that it appeared the couple had been "drinking all night".
The first incident occurred when the bag belonging to the woman passenger did not fit in to the luggage measuring device.
One passenger described how the drunk young man then grabbed the luggage, "put it on the ground and jumped on it. Then it fitted".
The couple were permitted to board the plane but the situation escalated an hour into the flight with reports that the man went "ballistic" after going to the toilet.
As the situation continued it is understood the pilot announced he would have to land the plane in Spain instead of the end destination of Faro in Portugal.
The man and woman had fallen asleep by then.
When they finally arrived at their destination the couple were removed from the plane in handcuffs.
While passengers have commended the actions of the airline staff as "brilliant", they want answers as to why the bar was open so early in the morning and why "obviously drunk people" were allowed on the plane.
A spokeswoman for easyJet apologised for any inconvenience to passengers onboard and said that the couple were refused any further alcohol during the flight.
In a statement the airline said: "EasyJet can confirm that flight EZY6793 from Belfast to Faro on 1 March 2014 experienced a short delay to passengers disembarking at Faro due to the behaviour of two disruptive passengers onboard.
"The flight was met by police on arrival where both passengers were escorted from the aircraft."
It continued: "The safety and welfare of our passengers and crew is easyJet's highest priority and our crew refused to serve both passengers alcohol for the duration of the flight.
"EasyJet's cabin crew are highly trained to assess and evaluate all incidents and acted quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers was not compromised at any time," it concluded.
A spokeswoman for Belfast International Airport said that permitting passengers on flights was the responsibility of the airline.