Passengers were aghast, airline authorities horrified and a passenger left seriously injured after a maniacal passenger settled an in-flight grievance by biting a fellow traveller’s ear off.
Ibiza, a Spanish holiday island popular with British partygoers, has a reputation for attracting the wrong sort of airline passenger – and the latest sickening in-flight assault will do nothing to dispel the image.
The words of a horrified traveller on the Jet2 flight from Newcastle to the holiday island sum it up.
“It was absolutely sickening,” the man told Britain’s Daily Mirror. “To bite someone’s ear off on a plane packed with other people at such close quarters and with families sitting around him is absolutely appalling, people were getting off the plane complaining of feeling physically sick.”
The alleged assault took place on a flight between Newcastle and Ibiza on Sunday evening. The passenger told the newspaper that the victim ran to the front of the plane when it landed, covered in blood and with “half his ear just hanging off”.
“It was a relief to get off and an absolutely horrible thing to happen in a confined space in front of families.”
Some confusion seems to exist as to whether half the ear or the whole ear was bitten off, but witnesses agree it was a foul and hideous act.
Phil Ward, managing director of Jet2.com, a budget carrier based at London’s Stansted Airport, has spoken out earlier about alcohol fuelled violence in the skies. He said the airborne ear atrocity was “an incident that no one would want to witness”.
That’s an example of classic British understatement.
“We are aware that an incident happened onboard a flight from Newcastle to Ibiza on Sunday 16th August between two customers,” Ward said.
“We are working closely with Northumbria Police and the parties involved to fully investigate the reported incident so that we can take the appropriate action.
“This was an incident that no one would want to witness, and we would like to assure everyone involved that we are treating it with the seriousness it deserves. The safety of our customers is of upmost importance to us and aggressive behaviour will simply not be tolerated.”
The flight was reportedly almost ready to touch down in Ibiza when the ear was bitten off.
No noses have been bitten off yet but Britain seems to be topping the league in unsavoury in-flight incidents. Just a few days ago, a Flybe flight from Newcastle Airport to Stansted was cancelled so 68 allegedly drunk and disorderly passengers heading to a buck’s night could be offloaded, accused of having threatened cabin crew.
Just last month, Jet2.com confirmed it was about to commence legal action in a Spanish court against a Scottish passenger who allegedly directed “foul and abusive language” at cabin crew on a recent Glasgow/Ibiza flight.
The offender was arrested when the flight touched down. The airline told him it had banned him from ever flying with it again and would be “pursuing legal action against the troublemaker in the Spanish courts”. See: Airline solution for abusive pax: bring out the lawyers
As Ward said on that occasion: “The plane is not a nightclub. It’s six miles up and going at 500mph so you can’t step outside to get some fresh air.”
Quite what Jet2.com will do about one of its passengers biting another’s ear off remains to be seen.
Written by Peter Needham