Pair face lifetime flying ban after brawl on plane

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The Independent Online

A convicted armed robber celebrating his release from prison and his son started a mid-air brawl with up to 15 people during a holiday flight to Malaga.

The drunken pair, both named Peter Spelling, fought with passengers and cabin crew for an hour after they were refused drinks on board the flight with 150 holidaymakers.

Passengers and crew were treated for their injuries after the fight and the pair now face a lifetime flying ban despite being freed without charge by the Spanish authorities.

When the aircraft landed, some passengers were so relieved that their ordeal was over, they hugged and kissed members of the cabin crew.

The management of British World Airlines were angered by the decision by Spanish police not to press charges following Friday's flight. The company has now contacted other airlines to call for a ban.

The company's managing director, Chris Bakhurst, said airline executives would have to consider a ban on serving alcohol on aeroplanes.

The fight broke out an hour before landing after the pair started drinking alcohol they brought on board at Gatwick. The practice is banned by the airline. After being restrained and separated, they were handed over to police when the plane landed.

Mr Bakhurst said: "We assumed they would be charged because we had 10 to 15 passengers involved in a brawl on this aircraft.

"It was some minutes into the flight when they required an above average number of drinks and they were refused and it was then that the trouble began to brew up. These two gentlemen... started hurling insults at the crew and at other passengers. My staff behaved incredibly well."

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