An ‘out of control’ passenger forced a London-bound Virgin Atlantic flight to make a U-turn back to Hong Kong this morning.
Flight VS201, which was destined for London’s Heathrow, was forced to turn back to Hong Kong International Airport after the 26-year-old man, identified only as ‘Robert’, became disruptive.
The flight had been in the air for just over an hour-and-a-half when the passenger ‘lost control and didn’t follow instructions from staff’.
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Once the plane returned to the airport, the man was arrested and sent to hospital, authorities said.
‘The foreign man called Robert, who is 26 years old, lost control on board and didn’t follow instructions from staff on the flight,’ a police spokesman told AFP.
‘He was shouting… When the flight returned to Hong Kong, the man was arrested for violating aviation security ordinance and was sent to Princess Margaret Hospital,’ he added.
One passenger, who claimed to be on board the disrupted flight, said the man had to be restrained with belts during the incident.
Katie Wong wrote on Facebook: ‘He just gone out of control (sic). Talk loud and walking ard. Actually he touched my shouter (sic) and go intimidated at the aisle when the captain announced we’re diverting the flight.
The crew ended up put him down temporarily with an injection (we guess) and tied him up with belts.’
Virgin Atlantic confirmed the flight had to turn back to Hong Kong after about 90 minutes, but was unable to confirm whether flight attendants had to restrain the man.
A spokesman said: ‘Virgin Atlantic can confirm that due to a disruptive passenger flight VS201 to London Heathrow returned to Hong Kong and was met by authorities on arrival.
‘Virgin Atlantic does not tolerate disruptive behaviour by passengers on-board and the safety and welfare of our passengers and crew is the airline’s top priority.’
Passenger left stranded by the incident were put up in hotels in Hong Kong and will fly out again on this evening.
‘The rest of the passengers were provided with accommodation before they depart tonight,’ a Hong Kong-based Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said.
Police said this morning that the man had not yet been charged.
Authorities were unable to confirm whether he was still in hospital and what treatment he had received.