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Vacationing British family, drinking heavily, swapped punches with other passengers during eight-hour trip
Nearly a dozen British vacationers were questioned by police on Thursday, and three were arrested and fined, after an angry brawl broke out 30,000 feet up on a Virgin Atlantic flight from London to Barbados, according to the Telegraph.
The cabin crew had to break up the fight, and police waiting on the runway as the Boeing 747 landed questioned 10 people. Three members of the same family were arrested and, after a court appearance on Friday, they were fined but not jailed. They were allowed to leave the court and continue their holiday, the Mirror reported. Virgin Atlantic banned them from ever using the airline again and warned them that they would have to make other arrangements to get back to England.
Derek Edmond, 76 years old, his daughter Zoe King and her husband Martin pleaded guilty to being part of the “vicious” brawl, which occurred toward the end of the eight-hour flight, the Telegraph said.
Police said Zoe King, 46, was celebrating her birthday. She and her family had been drinking for much of the Virgin Atlantic flight from Gatwick to Barbados when a Danish family sitting nearby accused them of being too noisy.
After the Danes complained, other passengers watched as Martin King, 49, and his wife allegedly swapped punches with the people sitting in front of them, the Daily Mail reported. As the crew tried for about an hour to contain the fracas in the rear of the plane, the pilot radioed ahead asking for police to meet the flight upon landing, the Telegraph reported. The pilot ordered the 229 passengers and 16-member crew to stay in their seats for the final hours of the flight.
A passenger, Elsa Brandford, 70, said, according to the Mirror: “It was vicious. There was about five minutes of shouting and before I knew it they were throwing punches and jumping on each other. There were punches going off in all directions.”
The Kings and Edmond were arrested when they landed at Grantley Adams Airport in Barbados. Zoe King was seen with her arm in a sling, and her husband had a black eye, the Mirror said.
According to the Mirror, one member of the cabin crew on the plane, said she “had never been so scared."