'She was Irish...It's an embarrassment to us all' - Ryanair flight forced to divert after 'aggressive' woman's behaviour mid-air
A man who travelled on the same Ryanair flight that was forced to divert after an Irish woman became "aggressive" said the incident was "an embarrassment to us all".
Flight FR7063 from Alicante to Dublin made an unscheduled stop to Santander on January 10 as a result of the woman's behaviour mid-air.
Dubliner Kieron told Independent.ie that he was on the flight with her on the way over to Spain, "and she was disruptive then too".
"I was hoping she would be getting a different flight from us home so I was worried when I saw her board on the flight home," he said.
"We were all waiting together in the one room before boarding and she was already getting aggressive. She had been drinking again because I saw her buy bottles in duty free and drink them before she boarded."
Kieron said he alerted Ryanair staff to the woman when she boarded and told them that she had been drinking and was acting aggressively.
"It all kicked off on the flight when people started getting food. She was annoyed that people were being served at the front of the plane first and that she had to wait. She was uncontrollable and was picking fights and cursing at everyone," he said.
"There was a young child sitting opposite her who looked terrified.
"The woman was definitely Irish. The majority of the flight was Irish. It's an embarrassment to us all."
Kieron said that the flight was diverted to the Spanish city of Santander after the pilot asked police to meet the aircraft when the woman became "aggressive".
Video footage shows the woman being escorted off the plane as she argues with a Civil Guard officer and an air stewardess.
Passengers sitting nearby can be heard shouting out: “See you tomorrow”, “Adios” and “Goodbye” as the woman was led away.
Kieron praised the Ryanair staff saying "they did everything in their power".
"In fairness they were all great. They apologised to us after and did everything in their power to control the situation," he said.
He added that there should be some measures in place at airports to stop drunk passengers from boarding planes.
"It's alright if you want to have some cheeky pints before the flight because you're on holiday mode but not to the point where you become aggressive. There needs to be more controls before boarding where passengers can be assessed to see if they're fit to fly.
"It really was a disgrace."
Ryanair said that this flight diverted to Santander after two passengers became disruptive during the flight.
"The aircraft landed normally and the passengers were removed and detained by police upon arrival, before the aircraft continued to Dublin," an airline statement read.
"We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority. This is now a matter for local police."
Ryanair added that incidents such as this is the reason why the airline is calling for significant changes to prohibit the sale of alcohol at airports.
"It’s incumbent on the airports to introduce these preventative measures to curb excessive drinking and the problems it creates, rather than allowing passengers to drink to excess before their flights."