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Sick man offloaded claims BA treated him ‘like slave’

May 5, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

A 65-year-old man who suffers from cancer and diabetes was allegedly grabbed by British Airways cabin crew, tied up and hauled back to his economy class seat after venturing into the airline’s business class section to stretch his legs, according to a report from London.

The man, Kwame Bantu, told the Daily Mail’s online edition he saw his leg swelling about an hour into the long-haul flight, BA2263 from London Gatwick to Kingston Jamaica.

Dizziness threatened to set in so Bantu moved into business class to “get some room” to stretch his leg. There he says he was “ambushed” by six members of staff who forcibly dragged him back to his economy class seat.

According to Bantu “they refused to listen about my medical illness…I was treated like a slave”.

Tweet by another passenger shows Portuguese police boarding plane after it was diverted

Other reports say Bantu wouldn’t return to economy class when asked. A fellow passenger identified as Joy Stoney said stewards told Bantu to “defecate in his seat” when he told them he needed the toilet.

Whatever the exact circumstances, the fuss caused the pilot to divert the flight to a military airbase on the Portuguese island of Terceira.  There, Bantu and Stoney were ordered off the plane. Stoney had intervened on Bantu’s behalf but is not his partner.

They were not permitted to collect their checked luggage. The flight later took off but headed back to London, possibly because the delay might have meant the crew would run out of hours if it continued to Jamaica.

British Airways told MailOnline in a statement: “Caring for our customers is our highest priority and we continue to investigate all the circumstances surrounding this incident.

“We take great care to handle these difficult situations as sensitively as possible. Our cabin crew and one of our pilots repeatedly asked a customer to return to his booked seat in economy after he sat in our business class cabin without permission.

“He repeatedly refused, verbally abused crew members and disturbed other customers.

“As a last resort, our cabin crew felt they had no option but to restrain the customer in the interests of the safety of everyone on board and helped him walk back to his original seat.”

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    This is clearly a case where the passenger was in the wrong, not the airline. And this is not a good example of finding a way for an upgrade.

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