A flight, scheduled to take off from the Brussels and land at Madrid, was delayed for over 2 hours after the police were called in to inspect for a possible explosive. Suspicions of explosives on the flight stemmed from a joke cracked by two passengers about bombs and terrorists.
Passengers were evacuated from the aircraft after the police were called in to conduct the examination. According to prosecutors, the men in question were also believed to be intoxicated when they boarded the Ryan air flight on a Saturday morning.
One of the men, aged 50, was taken away for questioning and will likely undergo trial in a fast-track court.
Panic on Hearing Particular Phrase
According to Peter De Waele, the spokesperson for the Police, the flight commander refused to accommodate 9 passengers, one of whom cracked a joke using the religious call “Allahu Akbar”. Allahu Akbar is an Arabic phrase that means “Allah is the Greatest. It is often used by Muslims to praise God or Allah. However, it has been also used as a battle cry of sorts by Islamic terrorists, which is why it is often misinterpreted by those who are unaware of its true meaning and the original context within which it is uttered.
Apart from making the passengers wait for over 2 hours, Ryanair also had to remove the luggage in order for police to carry out a thorough inspection.
The Brussels airport has instituted stringent regulations with regard to security ever since it suffered terrorist attacks in the Metro station last year. The previous terrorist attack had led to the deaths of over 30 people.
Ryanair Issues Warning
Additionally, even Ryanair had recently established a policy stating that it would not tolerate intoxicated or unruly passengers on its flight after facing several such scenarios. In fact, the carrier has even called for a 2-drink limit at British airports as the country’s drunken passenger rates had shown an increase of 50% in a period of 1 year.
The carrier has already imposed a ban on its UK customers, preventing them from consuming duty-free alcohol on board a flight.
In a recent survey, more than 50% of cabin crew responded that they had often experienced drunken passengers at UK airport causing disruptions and inconveniencing other passengers.
With regard to the current case, a Ryanair spokesperson told the media that the crew on the flight has called in for Police assistance after many of the passengers began to panic on hearing the controversial phrase. The police, after arriving, had detained the passengers responsible for cracking the joke. It was only after the detainment that the flight could depart for its destination.
The spokesperson reiterated that Ryanair would not tolerate any kind of behavior that could be described as disruptive or unruly. He/she added that the carrier would always place the comfort and safety passengers right on top of its priority list.
The matter has now been shifted to the police and investigations are believed to be going on.