Off Duty Pilot Stole Beers from the Galley, Threatened to Blow Up A380

Gulf News is reporting that an off duty pilot “threatened to blow up an Airbus A380” while a passenger on the Emirates flight. The pilot also assaulted a crew member.

The incident apparently took place onboard Emirates flight EK144 from Madrid to Dubai on June 1:

  • During boarding the pilot asked a flight attendant “whether smoking was permitted on the flight” which seems odd as he’d certainly know that it isn’t. Indeed, according to the flight attendant,

    He seemed to be acting abnormally … he asked me if smoking was allowed, and when I responded negatively, he emphasized that he was aware of it because he was a pilot

  • The 27 year old nonrev “began cursing at other passengers, insulted and assaulted a Romanian Flight Attendant, and grabbed two beers without the permission of the attending crew members.”

  • Witnesses say the off duty pilot “banged his head numerous times against the IFE screen on his seat, damaging it together with the window.” He “headed to the washroom that was occupied and banged the door loudly” instead of remaining in his seat when requested.

  • He was eventually restrained with plastic handcuffs — but not before he was able to grab two beers from the galley while being pursued (he managed to down one of the beers).

That’s when he threatened “to blow up the plane with explosives that he supposedly had on him.” He was apparently claiming to be able to do this while handcuffed.

According to the airline,

Emirates can confirm that on June 1, 2018, an incident occurred during flight EK144 from Madrid to Dubai, whereby an unruly passenger was restrained by cabin crew.

The passenger was met by authorities in Dubai on arrival. The safety of our passengers and crew is of critical importance and will not be compromised. The matter is now before the courts, and Emirates cannot comment further on the incident.

The man has been charged “with unruly conduct, getting drunk on a plane, endangering the flight’s safety, and punching a Flight Attendant on her chest.” He pled guilty but then asked to be able to hire a lawyer to pursue a defense.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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