Police turned out twice over the Easter weekend to quell a potential passenger mutiny aboard a Qatar Airways flight from Dohar to the English city of Manchester. The plane had been diverted to nearby Birmingham and was stranded on the tarmac.
The diversion – due to windy conditions in Manchester – was followed by a five-hour delay in Birmingham after the flight crew ran out of hours. The plane sat on the tarmac waiting for more fuel and a fresh crew.
Passengers grew anxious, then annoyed, then irate. Qatar Airways ended up calling police over fears for the safety of the plane, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported.
Police boarded the stationary aircraft at mid morning and returned about noon following further reports of “disruptive passengers”.
Qatar Airways finally gave way to passenger unrest, according to reports. It relented, allowed passengers to disembark and transferred them by coach to Manchester. Birmingham and Manchester are less than 140km apart and the road journey between them generally takes about 90 minutes on the M6 motorway.
Problems for Qatar Airways didn’t end there. Passengers waiting at Manchester Airport for the return flight to Doha were also delayed. Angry travellers got into arguments with ground staff and tempers frayed.
Qatar Airways apologised for the delay and blamed strong winds at Manchester.
Written by Peter Needham