Two drunk women forced the landing of a British Airways flight to France after their disruptive behavior was too much for the passengers, and while they tried to smoke in the lavatory, they continued to swear at children on the plane.
The non-stop flight was headed from London’s Gatwick Airport to Tunis before it was diverted to Lyon, France because of “the continued disruptive behavior of two female passengers,” according to the airline.
The women were drinking Malibu rum as they swore at children and reportedly threatened the family of a British Airways flight attendant.
One witness said they tried to storm the cockpit, thinking it was a funny act to do, before trying to hide in the lavatory.
“They decided they were going to meet the captain and marched towards the cockpit. It was very frightening,” the witness said.
“Our customers and flying crew deserve a safe and enjoyable flight experience,” an airline spokesperson said. “We do not tolerate any disruptive behavior onboard our flights,” the spokesperson added.
“They were handed over to the custody of the French police and detained upon arrival in Lyon,” according to the airline.
Being drunk on any aircraft is a violation of Federal Aviation Administration rules. The same FAA Code of Federal Regulations that restricts intoxicated crew members also prohibits passengers traveling under the influence. The FAA’s General Operating and Flight Rules section 91:17 says that ” … except in an emergency, no pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a person who appears to be intoxicated or who demonstrates by manner or physical indications that the individual is under the influence of drugs — except a medical patient under proper care — to be carried in that aircraft.”
Passengers who cause a forced landing are either fined or have to serve a jail sentence.