A RYANAIR flight from London Stansted to Sevilla was delayed for more than an hour after a man was removed by police and flight staff conducted a security sweep of the aircraft.
Passengers were asked to account for hand luggage in the overhead bins and forced to leave the aircraft and wait on the ground while crew checked for ‘suspicious items’.
The crew had earlier requested police assistance after than man refused to show a valid boarding pass or identification.
Witnesses described how the ‘suspicious-looking’ man, wearing hoodie and sunglasses, was asked to show his boarding pass by a steward after he was found sitting in another passenger’s seat.
One said, “He was repeatedly asked to show his boarding pass and each time the man refused.”
The steward issued a final warning the police would be called but the man ignored it.
Two police officers then boarded the plane and removed the passenger.
Passengers then said that the crew started checking the plane for ‘suspicious items’.
Then they were told to take their luggage and get off the plane for 40 minutes while staff did a security sweep of the aircraft.
A London Stansted Airport spokesperson said, ‘A man was removed from a Ryanair flight on Monday (20 November) by Essex Police for refusing to show a valid boarding card.
“The passenger had already been subjected to the full security search and screening processes, and at no time posed any risk to passenger safety or security.
“We are conducting an investigating into the full circumstances behind the incident with the all relevant parties.’
A Ryanair spokesman added, “The crew of this flight in London Stansted (20 Nov) requested police assistance after an individual boarded an aircraft but refused to show a boarding card or identification.
“Stansted Police removed and detained this individual.
“The aircraft was subjected to a full security check before the flight departed with a 60-minute delay.
“This matter is now being dealt with by the Essex Police Services.’
Essex Police confirmed two of their officers attended the incident and removed a man from the aircraft but they said he was not arrested.