Passengers weren't happy with the Brits getting on board
Passengers weren't happy with the Brits getting on board

British holidaymakers kicked off flight home after being suspected of having coronavirus

‘The final decision is we will depart without these passengers,’ says captain

Helen Coffey
Friday 20 March 2020 13:58
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Six British passengers were barred from catching a Wizz Air flight home to the UK from Bulgaria after fellow travellers demanded they be kicked off.

They were suspected of travelling from the ski resort of Bansko, now under quarantine, and potentially carrying coronavirus, reports the Daily Mail.

Video of the incident has emerged, showing an English man trying to reason with those onboard by arguing that the passengers can sit in the back row, with enough space on the plane to leave multiple rows between them and other travellers.

“This plane has one advantage,” he says. “It has a lot of empty seats. The flight is only three hours. And air flows this way [towards the back of the plane]. The risk of exposure is very small.

“The guidance by the World Health Organisation is that people are more than 2m away. It’s possible, if everyone is kind and we all move up, we’re left with maybe eight to 10 rows at the back of the plane.”

He added: “I think that is the sensible answer. And we make them wear a mask and use disinfectant.”

However, other passengers are not convinced by this plan.

“The whole town is under quarantine. No one can go in or out. They let these people go out and they put them on the plane with us.”

“You’re risking 150 people for six people,” he adds.

He argues they should put the Britons on a charter flight instead.

Amid the altercation, an announcement is made over the tannoy: “This is your captain speaking. Final decision is, we will depart without these passengers.”

Some on board can be heard applauding, while the man filming can be heard saying “thank you very much,” before giving a thumbs up to the camera.

Wizz Air told The Independent: “Wizz Air confirms that on a flight from Sofia to Luton on 18 March 2020 there was disruption both at the gate and on the aircraft. This was due to passenger concerns about a group who were travelling to the UK from a town in Bulgaria placed under quarantine due to Coronavirus. The Captain of the flight made the decision to remove these passengers from the aircraft. Affected passengers were offered an alternative flight the next day, at no extra cost. The safety and well-being of Wizz Air passengers and cabin crew are always the airline's top priorities.”

Bansko was put under a two-week quarantine on 17 March after an outbreak of Covid-19.

Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry has organised transfer buses to transport UK tourists from the ski resort to Sofia airport to return home.

No one else may leave or enter the city, barring trucks carrying essential goods such as food and medicine.

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