View Full Version : Passenger action @ EGCC 22nd Sept

23rd Sep 2004, 08:25

First post so please no flames if it's not appropriate for this forum.

Was on BA1399 MAN-LHR last night and we were held on the ground for 90-100 minutes while firstly 2 and then 4 police negotiated with a passenger further down the aircraft.

After passengers in the aisle seats were cleared, the police and two passengers calmly left and after a quick search for their bags and wait for a new slot the plane took off.

Can anyone enlighten me as to what the problem was? There were all sorts of 'interesting' theories being circulated around the passengers (good to see the pack mentality and rumour mill in action in a closed environment at work!) and the captain's explanation which went along the lines of "she wasn't supposed to be on the plane" didn't really help.

Obviously a fairly significant security breach has happened here - but it doesn't seem to have made the press. I accept that in reality it's none of my business however given that something significant had happened I thought BA might have been a bit more forthcomming with information.

Not aiming criticisim of the crew who handled it well (apart from the Purser, who despite knowing that at least 12 passengers had missed their connections to Jo'burg, was only able to read from the script when we departed (after 100 minutes sitting on the ground "welcome aboard" etc) and then when we arrived - ("See inside for flight connections, we hope you enjoyed your flight, thank you for flying ba".....etc) but someone at either BA groundstaff or Manchester airport has obviously made a big c**kup somwhere.

Partly just curiosity and partly concern that in this day and age 'the wrong person' can actually get past 4 separate checks (3 of them involving ID) and onto the plane.

Thanks in advance for any info.

surely not
23rd Sep 2004, 09:02
or of course it might have been absolutley nothing to do with the airline but a police matter.
It is not normal to get the police involved if you are unloading a passenger because they have been checked-in incorrectly, or mis boarded at the gate. My hunch is that it was a police matter of some sort.

23rd Sep 2004, 09:13
Fair call - but I should add that it took the police 40 odd minutes to arrive.

23rd Sep 2004, 09:56
In a situation like this i wonder why the "negotiation" on the plane is necessary. Surely the Captain and the airline have the right to offload the passenger, and if the alternative is an extended delay and numerous missed connections it seems better to offload the pax and negotiate in the terminal, inconveniencing 1 passenger rather than 100s.

Joyce Tick
23rd Sep 2004, 10:38
It all started when the male pax went through the scanner and was stopped for setting it off - not surprising as his wooden and steel false limb (left leg) had not been removed. The search agent let him through having seen the prosthesis. Some time later, a supervisor queried the residual image on the scanner and was not happy that the metal contents did not conceal a weapon so informed security police. They found the pax had already boarded the plane but when they approached him - he refused to detach the leg for placement in the baggage hold. He threatened to take everyone to court on disablement discrimination charges and eventually agreed to leave, with his partner, on the promise of a private limo ride down to Heathrow.

23rd Sep 2004, 10:59
he refused to detach the leg for placement in the baggage hold.
But if he willingly had removed it, would there not be an issue with his mobility in the event of an emergency?

23rd Sep 2004, 17:02
For once I am perfectly qualified to comment on this issue. I too have an artificial left leg made of Titanium and plastic.
As a frequent flyer EGSS-LFRD I am used to surrendering at the metal detector. I simply tell them I have an artificial leg and although it gets a good feel they have never asked to actually look at it. Mind you it is only a metal detector not a scanner as such!!
In this mans situation I too would be absolutely enraged and embarassed and certainly thinking Litigation. If I were to take my leg off to fly, then I would have to carry my crutches on board and they would surely make a brilliant weapon!!
Can you imagine removing the leg and having it sent as checked baggage and then discovering the leg went to the Caribbean instead of Dinard.
Many years ago on a long haul I removed the leg once on board so as to be more comfortable on the flight. On arrival in LHR I had a hell of a job getting it back on as the stump had swollen much like your ankles do on a long flight. So, my leg stays with me and they would have to forcefully remove me as well!!!!

Final 3 Greens
24th Sep 2004, 07:11
What a cock up :mad: I have every sympathy with this passenger.

I saw a similar thing at Charleroi a few years ago, with a WW2 veteran.

The difference was that the metal was in the form of a plate inside his head.

Fortunately, common sense prevailed and the security people treated him with great respect and courtesy, having heard the details of how he acquired the plate.

24th Sep 2004, 07:28
Once upon a time, some years ago, a passenger went through an airport metal detector, which promptly went beserk. The youngster operating it couldn't understand why. The passenger concerned just stood there with a seemingly innocent look on his face. Seeing what had happened, an older, much wiser operator came over, had a word in the ear of the younger chap, then courteously allowed the grinning passenger on his way......

Who was the passenger? The late Gp Capt Sir Douglas Bader showing that the passing of the years had done nothing to erode his impish sense of humour!

Joyce Tick
24th Sep 2004, 09:19
OK - hands up everyone who believed the tin leg story - including the moderators!

"Excuse me, Sir, could you unbolt the leg so I can put it in the hold?" Come on!!!! Anyway, I really enjoyed the follow on posts -thanks everyone, even if some of the better ones were removed by our tender-hearted moderators!

24th Sep 2004, 09:27

Thanks for the info. Without wanting to know how you know, how certain are you about the events described?

As a layman, if the guy went through the scanner, how would there be a residual image? - surely he would have had to have detached the leg and placed it through the x-ray machine?

Also, how long did it take for the supervisor to query the image? Surely there is a limited amount of time before any passenger passes from the memory of all concerned? Again, from my laymans perspective, the timescales don't fit with someone (presumably) getting through security with some time to spare before actually getting on the plane.



PS Too bl**dy right he should have threatened them with a lawsuit! He should also try suing for defamation as BA strongly implied that it was the passengers fault - not theirs or the airports.

Carnage Matey!
24th Sep 2004, 11:18
Its hardly BAs fault if the airport security want a passenger back and he won't comply. Perhaps they should sue him for the cost of the disruption?

Joyce Tick
24th Sep 2004, 11:22
UTR - please the post above yours - I say again, I made up the whole scanner story, it's a load of cobblers and I have no idea what happened at the scanner or anywhere else. I doubt the scanner even retains images....

24th Sep 2004, 11:56

Thanks for the retraction. Enjoy your obviously very interesting life.


24th Sep 2004, 14:26
Joyce Tick

It's not big, and it's not clever - but it is tedious!

24th Sep 2004, 18:56
Joyce Tick

Nice one Centurian, like it....!:ok:


Joyce Tick
24th Sep 2004, 22:33
Thanks Turin - quite a few of us enjoyed the posts that resulted- but apologies to the moderator who didn't appreciate the editing he felt obliged to do.... no nastiness intended - just a little light relief...

24th Sep 2004, 22:52
Didn't fool me. I thought it was a leg pull from the start :E

24th Sep 2004, 23:05
Joyce Tick For the record, I haven't yet deleted anything on this thread: I can see how you might reach an opposite conclusion, but sadly, you would be incorrect. Any deletions have been made by another Mod, passing through, or by the post originators themselves.

I do have a sense of humour, but it's been running a little rough recently - I'm planning to have the mixture adjusted tomorrow!