Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed


August 20, 2006, 01:04 PM
Interesting response by the passengers who had strong doubts about two of their fellows. THIS TIME the two individuals apparently were harmless and unfortunately inconvenienced unjustly. Next time such might not be the case. The right to associate with whom you will also includes the right to NOT associate with another if is your choice to do such. Yes, I know most of these people are British subjects. ;) Leaving the aircraft strikes me as the most equitable response by those with doubts, rather than demanding the expulsion of those suspected of bearing ill will. Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed

British holidaymakers staged an unprecedented mutiny - refusing to allow their flight to take off until two men they feared were terrorists were forcibly removed.

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The extraordinary scenes happened after some of the 150 passengers on a Malaga-Manchester flight overheard two men of Asian appearance apparently talking Arabic.

Passengers told cabin crew they feared for their safety and demanded police action. Some stormed off the Monarch Airlines Airbus A320 minutes before it was due to leave the Costa del Sol at 3am. Others waiting for Flight ZB 613 in the departure lounge refused to board it.

The incident fuels the row over airport security following the arrest of more than 20 people allegedly planning the suicide-bombing of transatlantic jets from the UK to America. It comes amid growing demands for passenger-profiling and selective security checks.

It also raised fears that more travellers will take the law into their own hands - effectively conducting their own 'passenger profiles'.

The passenger revolt came as Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary was accused of using the terror crisis to make money. Government sources say he boasted to an official at the Transport Department: "Every time I appear on TV, I get a spike in sales."

The Tories said the Government's failure to reassure travellers had led the Malaga passengers to 'behave irrationally' and 'hand a victory to terrorists'.

Websites used by pilots and cabin crew were yesterday reporting further incidents. In one, two British women with young children on another flight from Spain complained about flying with a bearded Muslim even though he had been security-checked twice before boarding.

The trouble in Malaga flared last Wednesday as two British citizens in their 20s waited in the departure lounge to board the pre-dawn flight and were heard talking what passengers took to be Arabic. Worries spread after a female passenger said she had heard something that alarmed her.

Passengers noticed that, despite the heat, the pair were wearing leather jackets and thick jumpers and were regularly checking their watches.

Initially, six passengers refused to board the flight. On board the aircraft, word reached one family. To the astonishment of cabin crew, they stood up and walked off, followed quickly by others.

The Monarch pilot - a highly experienced captain - accompanied by armed Civil Guard police and airport security staff, approached the two men and took their passports.

Half an hour later, police returned and escorted the two Asian passengers off the jet.

'There was no fuss or panic'

Soon afterwards, the aircraft was cleared while police did a thorough security sweep. Nothing was found and the plane took off - three hours late and without the two men on board.

Monarch arranged for them to spend the rest of the night in an airport hotel and flew them back to Manchester later on Wednesday.

College lecturer Jo Schofield, her husband Heath and daughters Emily, 15, and Isabel, 12, were caught up in the passenger mutiny.

Mrs Schofield, 38, said: "The plane was not yet full and it became apparent that people were refusing to board. In the gate waiting area, people had been talking about these two, who looked really suspicious with their heavy clothing, scruffy, rough, appearance and long hair.

"Some of the older children, who had seen the terror alert on television, were starting to mutter things like, 'Those two look like they're bombers.'

"Then a family stood up and walked off the aircraft. They were joined by others, about eight in all. We learned later that six or seven people had refused to get on the plane.

"There was no fuss or panic. People just calmly and quietly got off the plane. There were no racist taunts or any remarks directed at the men.

"It was an eerie scene, very quiet. The children were starting to ask what was going on. We tried to play it down."

Mr Schofield, 40, an area sales manager, said: "When the men were taken off they didn't argue or say a word. They just picked up their coats and obeyed the police. They seemed resigned to the fact they were under suspicion.

"The captain and crew were very apologetic when we were asked to evacuate the plane for the security search. But there was no dissent.

"While we were waiting, everyone agreed the men looked dodgy. Some passengers were very panicky and in tears. There was a lot of talking about terrorists."

Patrick Mercer, the Tory Homeland Security spokesman, said last night: "This is a victory for terrorists. These people on the flight have been terrorised into behaving irrationally.

"For those unfortunate two men to be victimised because of the colour of their skin is just nonsense."

Monarch said last night: "The captain was concerned about the security surrounding the two gentlemen on the aircraft and the decision was taken to remove them from the flight for further security checks.

"The two passengers offloaded from the flight were later cleared by airport security and rebooked to travel back to Manchester on a later flight."

A spokesman for the Civil Guard in Malaga said: "These men had aroused suspicion because of their appearance and the fact that they were speaking in a foreign language thought to be an Arabic language, and the pilot was refusing to take off until they were escorted off the plane."


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August 20, 2006, 01:53 PM
Leaving the aircraft strikes me as the most equitable response by those with doubts, rather than demanding the expulsion of those suspected of bearing ill will.The article makes it sound like the passengers either left the plane or refused to board as long as the two men were aboard. That would certainly leave the airline in the awkward position of making the flight with only two passengers or doing something about the two passengers.

Ain't democracy wonderful.

August 20, 2006, 02:00 PM
Please see Ann Coulter's last article.

I have to fly, being on the road, if I want to get home, but I can't say that I feel safe: I'm simply betting on the percentages, don't like it, and drive when I can.

August 20, 2006, 02:50 PM
What would I do as captain?

Let them leave, take off, and deliver those passengers who wanted to be on my airplane. Even if there are only two.

Other people don't want to take their scheduled flight, even after multiple security screenings of the "suspects?" Fine. Let them pay for the change-of-schedule penalty, or let them eat their non-refundable tickets. Not my problem.

Those two passengers had just as much right to be there as anybody else. The other passengers have no right to demand that they be removed, especially in the lack of any evidence of threat, so they can "feel safe."

August 20, 2006, 03:04 PM
Flyboy, I bet the airline would fire you for flying a jet with only 2 passengers on it.

August 20, 2006, 03:04 PM
I have to agree. I feel sorry for those two that were detained.

August 20, 2006, 03:05 PM
Everyone on that plane should be thoroughly embarassed by their actions, and its to this countries shame that no-one apparently had the courage to defend these men.

August 20, 2006, 03:12 PM
At least there is one business still in operation that feels that the customer is always right.

They typical attitude has already been posted: give us your money, sit down and shut up, we don't care if you are comfortable with the situation, you have no say in it: I AM IN CHARGE.

Thankfully, I didn't drink the Kool Aid. If I had been on the plane I wouldn't have been embarrased in the least.

August 20, 2006, 03:14 PM
I don't think that they should be embarassed. We have been told for the last 5 years by the media and the President that terrorists were everywhere and trying to kill us. We were told to be vigilant. Someone finally believed that and took action. No one knows if these guys were going to try something or not. Maybe they were. Maybe this was another example of passengers thwarting a terrorist attack. The fact these two men were not charged with a crime does not matter, because the crime had not yet occurred. It was thwarted by passengers.

Lets say that this had happened on September 11, 2001, and passengers refused to board a plane until Mohammed Attah was taken off. If he was removed from the plane, he would have been charged with nothing, as he hadn't yet committed a crime. He would have been rescheduled on another flight, and there would have been no 9-11 attack (from his plane anyway).

The airlines and government may not want to use profiling, but the average person does. If I am flying, and I see someone acting strangely, I am going to pay attention. If my suspicions rise to a high enough level, I am more than willing to deplane and fly at a later date.

August 20, 2006, 03:15 PM
that phrase the customer is always right is the bane of my life and whoever came up with it is or was an idiot....and probably a customer

August 20, 2006, 03:19 PM
Well, I am an idiot so that must explain it.

I am idiotic enough to think that if I am paying for something, I should get what I want: I don't care what you want. I also don't care if I inconvience you, frustrate you, or make you wish you had another job. If you don't like that, I hope the company you work for goes under because those lousy no good obnoxious customers take their business elsewhere. What do they know ?

Is anyone here honestly saying that we should place our trust in the TSA ? Or a similar agency in another country ?
Or is it more of a matter of risking your life to avoid offending someone or to avoid being branded a racist ?

August 20, 2006, 03:36 PM
you've never worked retail have you?

Let me give you a tip, the customer is not always right. In fact the customer is, often, wrong and an idiot.

August 20, 2006, 03:44 PM
No, I don't work retail.
I am a government employee.
I work as a firefighter. If you call 911, we will respond to your home no matter what you tell us you want. We do this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That includes holidays. Weekends don't change anything. We get up and respond immediately if I am eating, sleeping, showering, or taking a crap. I have gone for up to three days with only a few hours of sleep and just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore I got up and went to someone's house for a problem that started a week ago. I have responded because someone didn't know how their TV remote worked. I have responded to adjust someone's thermostat. I have responded to show someone how their recliner chair worked. I have picked up tens of thousands of drunks off the floors of bars and clubs while they spit on me and vomited on me. We work a minimum of 56 hours a week. I have have worked countless shifts where i responded on at least one call per hour around the clock. I have responded on more than 35 calls in a 24 hour period. I once went over a year where I never finished a meal without getting a call.
The general public are our customers and in my job, the customer is always right and we like it that way. We buck the trend of having contempt for our customers. We can't guarentee a postitive outcome but we will do our best. I bet if you polled all the firefighters in the US, the VAST majority of them would tell you that they wouldn't want to work anywhere else and neither would I.
If we tell our customers they are idiots or treat them like idiots, there is a good chance we will be fired. Why ? Because the customer pays our salaries. The customer pays our Captains, and Chief's salaries. The customer pays the city council's salaries as well as the county manager's salary.
The same holds true for you and someday you might realize it yourself.

August 20, 2006, 03:53 PM
And in your job you have to because you don't know if it is really a life and death situation.

However, when someone comes up to me with the wrong pack of pens for their coupon demanding they get that one or in some other stupid way being generaly an isn't life or death. There is a difference between someone calling emergency services and an actual paying customer.

And even in your examples I can pick out where the "customer" was far from right.

It isn't right for example to call the fire department just to adjsut your thermostat or help with their tv remote. Do you have to check it out? Yes as I said you don't know if it is life or death and you need to check it out. But they were not right. When someone swears up and down to me something wrung up wrong, I go check the shelf and it infact did not ring up wrong they were not right, I need to check it out but just because I need to check it out doesn't mean the customer was right.

Now I understand the huge difference between someone needing emergency help from the fire department and some idiot who can't read the price for a pack of big red, but in either case the customer is not always right.

August 20, 2006, 03:55 PM
"And in your job you have to because you don't know if it is really a life and death situation."

That's a myth. The vast majority of calls we go on are not life and death situations and we know that before we leave the station. But, when they call and tell us we are responding, they are right: we are responding.

August 20, 2006, 04:08 PM
Flyboy, I bet the airline would fire you for flying a jet with only 2 passengers on it.

Probably not. First off, most airline pilots are union. Secondly, The ticket is a contract. Our job is to get you there. If you pay for the ticket and then don't go, well, we'll be happy to refund your money but it's your decision.

Oh yeah, there's also this little bit:

FAR 91.3: Responsibility of the Pilot in Command

(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for,
and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.
(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot
in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required
to meet that emergency.
(c) Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph
(b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a
written report of that deviation to the Administrator.

August 20, 2006, 04:35 PM
Ah 444 but there is a difference between right and wrong and looking into/responding to something.

August 20, 2006, 04:37 PM
Sounds like mass panic to me.

Car Knocker
August 20, 2006, 05:01 PM
Wait until a couple of bue-eyed blonde women turn out to be terrorists. What will the imbeciles do then? Refuse to fly if there are any other passengers?

Art Eatman
August 20, 2006, 05:02 PM
Way OT...

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