Spain police removed an entire British football team from a flight after a “public order” problem was reported at Alicante Airport, reported Gerard Couzens. The 25 team members were hauled off after their flight arrived in Alicante from Bristol. Civil Guard officers were called to the scene due to the “public order” problem the football team were called. The group – who have not yet been named nor their team revealed – were all drunk, claimed the Civil Guard.
The police met the plane at the request of the pilot when it arrived at Alicante at 10.50pm on Saturday.
The team’s removal from the plane appeared to be welcomed by fellow passengers as they cheered when the police led the men off.
A spokesman for the Civil Guard in Alicante said in a statement: “Last Saturday on April 6 at 10.50pm the pilot of a plane which had come from Bristol requested the presence of Civil Guard officers at the landing bay to deal with public order problems on the aircraft involving a large number of passengers.
“When the plane arrived officers from the Airport Security Section had to remove the 25 members of an amateur British football team.
“During the flight they had displayed an aggressive attitude, causing public order problems and bothering other passengers and ignoring requests by the flight crew to calm down.
“Most of them also clearly appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.
“The 25 British nationals were removed the plane to cheers and applause from the rest of the passengers and were taken to Civil Guard offices at the airport so they could be identified.”
While the men were not formally arrested, a report submitted to the Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency will name them.
The incident comes a month after passengers were banned from drinking alcohol purchased at duty free during flights.
The strict rules come as airlines try to reduce inebriated air rage incidents. Under new measures, any alcohol purchased at airport duty-free will need to be packed into a sealed plastic bag.
These special bags are branded with the instruction: “Do not open alcohol purchases until your final destination.”
The rules are being implemented by World Duty Free, which is the sole provider of duty-free stores at most major UK airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester and Birmingham.
According to figures from the Civil Aviation Authority, 422 serious drunken incidents were reported in 2017 – a number which has doubled since 2014.
However, airlines claim that the real figure is much worse – into several thousands – as only the worst cases are ever recorded.
Last month a drunk male passenger had to be restrained with seatbelt after he began ranting at cabin crew and calling them “paedophiles.”
Additional reporting by Gerard Couzens.