A couple flying on Jet2 from London to Spain have been charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft after their fight over a text message forced the flight to divert, reports claim.
Ronald St. Ville, 53, and Pauline Gordon, 66, were flying to the Spanish island of Gran Canaria last year, July 2017, when the couple reportedly got into an expletive-laced argument over a text message found on St. Ville’s phone, BBC reported.
A witness claimed St. Ville threatened to hit Gordon, while another witness said they saw Gordon hitting St. Ville with her fists.
Caitlin McAleese told the Hertfordshire Mercury, “I heard raised voices and shouting. I turned around to assess the situation and I realized that it was the two passengers. I went down the gallery to see what was happening and as I was walking down the woman flew across the aisle and went at the gentleman.”
The pair were initially separated for the safety of the flight before the pilot made the diversion to Portugal.
“Some of the children had got a bit upset, there were two crying children. I felt very intimidated. I was scared of the potential of the gentleman,” McAleese said to the Mercury.
In a statement on the airlines blog, Phil Ward, MD of Jet2.com said, “It is staggering to think that people would behave in this violent fashion on an aircraft full of holidaymakers and families. I would like to thank our crew as well as the two police officers, who did a superb job of handling the situation and ensuring everybody’s safety. As a family friendly airline we take a zero tolerance approach to disruptive behavior in all forms, and we will now be taking all necessary steps, including legal action if necessary, to recover the losses that were incurred by the deplorable behavior of this couple.”
The couple has denied the charges.