'Mutiny' over plane baggage charge
Published 06/02/2011 | 15:58
Police removed more than 100 passengers from a Ryanair plane preparing to leave the Canary Islands after a large scuffle broke out on board.
La Provincia, a Spanish newspaper, said the disruption happened when low-cost airline Ryanair tried to charge one passenger extra for carry-on baggage. His friends aboard the plane "mutinied".
A Spanish Interior Ministry spokesman said the pilot was preparing for take-off at Guacimeta airport on the Lanzarote island resort for Charleroi, Belgium, when she radioed for police assistance.
He said that, of the 168 passengers, only 64 were allowed to re-board Saturday's flight. The rest had to find other carriers and some spent the night on Lanzarote.
Ryanair confirmed the passengers "became disruptive and refused to comply with crew instructions" after a requirement to pay a gate bag fee "for out-sized luggage".
The airline said in a statement that police had required the entire aircraft be offloaded and each passenger identified.
"Following further disruptive behaviour, the police required for security reasons that this entire group be refused travel," the statement said.