A man aged 76 and two members of his family were arrested after a ‘vicious’ punch-up on a plane that took cabin crew 30 minutes to break up.
Derek Edmond, his daughter Zoe King and her husband Martin were on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Gatwick to Barbados when a Danish family sitting nearby accused them of being too noisy.
Police said Mrs King, 46, was celebrating her birthday and she and her family had been drinking for much of the eight-hour flight.
After the Danes complained, other passengers watched in horror as Mr King, 49, and his wife allegedly swapped punches with a family sitting in front of them as flight crew tried to pull them apart.
The pilot radioed ahead for the flight to be met by police and the Kings and Mr Edmond were arrested when it landed at Grantley Adams Airport.
Passenger Elsa Brandford, 70, said: ‘It was unbelievable, it was like something out of a movie. I saw a woman shout, “You swore in front of my child”. She said it about six times, each time louder than the last one. She said, “And it’s my birthday”.
‘I heard more and more voices getting involved. There was about five minutes of shouting while people gathered around and before I knew it they were throwing punches and jumping on each other.
‘Most of the people were standing on their seats while throwing punches
‘It was vicious. It was frightening. There were punches going off in all directions.
‘But as it went on people came round to try to split them up and about half an hour later they had it under control.’ More than a dozen officers met the plane carrying 280 passengers on Thursday afternoon and ten people, including crew, were taken for questioning.
Mrs King left the plane with her arm in a sling, while her husband had a black eye.
Inspector David Welch, of Barbados police, said: ‘There appeared to be a birthday celebration that got too noisy. A Danish national on the flight complained and the fracas started from there.’
The Kings and Mr Edmond appeared in court yesterday charged with disruptive behaviour on an aircraft. They face two years in prison or a fine if convicted.