After almost five hours of flight: KLM plane has to turn back over Iceland

After a flight of almost five hours, the travelers landed on board a Boeing 777 from KLM instead of in Calgary at the starting point in Amsterdam. A man on board was so freaked out that the plane had to turn back.

They are called “unruly passengers” in technical jargon: travelers who lose their composure on board aircraft. In recent years, the number of mob passengers has increased. The coronavirus pandemic and associated complications, long waiting times in summer, the generally tense world situation – everything leads to a certain basic tension, which sometimes discharges itself on board the aircraft – also an exceptional situation. Now there was also an incident on flight KL677.

On Sunday, a Boeing 777 with the registration number PH-BQB of the Dutch airline KLM should bring travelers from Amsterdam Schiphol to Calgary. But nothing came of it for the time being. Because when the plane was over Iceland, the crew decided to turn around and fly back to Amsterdam.

Fixed with hands on the seat

The reason: A passenger on board was so freaked out that he had to be overpowered and fixed with his hands on the seat, the Nhnieuws portal first reported. What caused the freak out is still unknown. In any case, the crew apparently saw it as the safest option to turn around.

After about five hours, the plane landed back in Amsterdam. The passenger was arrested there by the police. Shortly after 7 p.m., the plane was able to take off again for Canada, where it finally landed a little over six hours late.

More and more cases

Usually rowdy travelers can be calmed down. In the vast majority of cases of Unruly Passengers – around 96 percent of all incidents – it is about insults and violence. The particularly blatant freaks like on flight KL677 are rare, but according to the airline umbrella organization Iata, they are increasing at an above-average rate. The Iata defines them as potentially life-threatening situations. This includes threatening harm, using weapons, or attempting to enter the cockpit.

Again and again, ideas come up on how to get the problem under control – for example through shared no-fly lists. Delta Air Lines has already made such a suggestion. But such lists are a problem in terms of data protection.

This article was written by Laura Frommberg

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