Passenger 'assaulted' by employee at Nice airport after 13-hour easyJet delay

'Absolute chaos - member of staff just punched a passenger in the face'

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Sunday 30 July 2017 09:39 BST

“After 13 hour delay of an easyJet flight, a Nice Airport employee punches a man with a baby in the face for complaining about the delays” — that was the alarming tweet by Leo Gupta.

Sent shortly before midnight on Saturday, it was accompanied by a picture of an employee striking a passenger who was holding a baby, while shocked travellers looked on.

The event took place at the end of a day of stress for more than 150 passengers. They had been due to travel on flight EZY2122 from Nice-Cote d’Azur airport at 11am. The airline says it “was delayed departing Nice due to a technical issue with the aircraft”.

The original aircraft had arrived from Luton slightly behind schedule. Then there was a fuelling issue, which required another aircraft to be flown out to Nice. So instead of arriving at Luton noon, passengers were obliged to spend the entire day at Nice airport.

Accounts on social media suggest that a man holding a nine-month old child was talking to an employee of the special assistance provider, Samsic.

Witnesses said that the apparent victim of the assault had complained about the lack of baby food and places for passengers with special assistance needs to sit.

Anna McCrum tweeted: “absolute chaos - member of staff just punched a passenger in the face at Nice airport. Waited for 12 hours for this.”

The airline said: “We are urgently taking this up with Nice Airport and their special assistance provider Samsic who we understand the person photographed works for.”

The easyJet statement continued: “Passengers were provided with updates and refreshment vouchers during this time and the flight departed for London Luton this evening.

“The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is always easyJet's highest priority.”

Violence against airline passengers is an infrequent occurence. The most notorious recent case was In April when Dr David Dao was dragged off an overbooked United Express plane at Chicago.

Two weeks later an American Airlines member of cabin crew was featured on social media apparently challenging a passenger to a fight after an incident involving a mother of baby twins.

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