Ryanair passenger Karl Wend caused a plane to return to Manchester after behaving aggressively
Karl Wend, 45, was arrested upon arrival back in the UK, while his fellow passengers had no option but to wait for another flight the following morning.
The father-of-five from Runcorn in Cheshire was headed to Tenerife on a stag do with pals when the incident occurred.
Things got out of hand shortly after the plane had taken off, when Wend grew aggressive towards a fellow passenger.
A witness alerted crew that Wend was “smelt of alcohol…and believe he was on a different planet”.
Passengers were forced to wait a day before flying to Tenerife again
There was a two hour delay to the flight and Mr Wend was with a group who were out for a stag do on that flight.
Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that Wend then grew abusive, accusing a young woman of stealing his phone and travel documents.
The altercation left the Ryanair cabin crew and pilot with no choice but to abandon the four-hour flight to Tenerife, and instead perform a U-turn back to Manchester Airport.
The flight had already taken off two hours late, during which time Wend and pals drank at the airport bar, celebrating going on holiday together.
According to the Mail Online, prosecutor Tess Kenyon commented: “There was a two hour delay to the flight and Mr Wend was with a group who were out for a stag do on that flight.
“A supervisor of the cabin was working on that flight when he was approached by a passenger who stated that a man was being hostile and becoming aggressive towards a young woman and accusing her of taking his phone.
“He went over to speak to the male, which happened to be the defendant. Mr Wend told the supervisor that this woman had taken his mobile phone and she wasn’t speaking to him. The supervisor noticed this man was drunk, he smelt of alcohol, stumbled around and he believed he was on a different planet.
“The defendant then became aggressive with the supervisor and began shouting, so he called over other members of the cabin crew.
“This man then became threatening and abusive and the woman involved explained to the staff that she was intimidated and scared.
Karl Wend was didn’t make it to Tenerife for the Stag Do he was on and was arrested instead
“The crew attempted to separate the defendant from the young woman but he tried to push past and tried to talk to the woman who he believed took his phone. He then began making accusations that she had stolen his travel documents.
“Mr Wend continued to try and make his way towards this young woman and the supervisor ended up placing himself in between them. She was visibly upset. The supervisor came to the conclusion that it wasn’t safe to continue with the flight due to the behaviour of the defendant and told him this and asked a member of the crew to instruct the captain.
“Arrangements were made to move the defendant to a different seat and the plane was forced to land at Manchester Airport.
“Due to the time spent during this altercation, the flight was subsequently cancelled and all passengers had to find alternative travel arrangements.”
Wend has since shown remorse for his actions, and even issued the following apology, attributing his out-of-hand behaviour to a relative being successfully treated for cancer: “I just got carried away. I never normally drink, but that day I drank a lot.
“When my cousin, who is more like a brother to me, messaged me and told me it had gone well I was overjoyed. We thought he had three months left, but he text me and he said ‘Karl, I’ve got 18 months’ and I was so happy.
“I was celebrating. I accept what I did was wrong and I whole heartedly apologise, if I could apologise to every single person on that plane, I would. My last memory was leaving the bar.
“I am a hard working man, and I do show remorse for this. This is so out of character for me, I would never ever do this again.
He continued: “People know me as ‘Karl the Smiler’ but I haven’t smiled since then. I understand how angry the passengers must have been, I know I ruined their flight and their holiday, I accept they would have had to rearrange the flights and I am truly sorry for that.
“I am sorry to that lady also, I cannot remember what happened, but I am truly sorry if I worried her or scared her. It’s not nice. I will not ever do anything like this again. It’s not worth having a drink,” it was reported in Manchester Evening News.
A spokesperson for Ryanair commented: “This flight from Manchester to Tenerife (8 Mar) returned to Manchester after a passenger became disruptive inflight. The aircraft landed normally and the passenger was met by police upon arrival.
“Customers were provided with overnight accommodation in Manchester and boarded a rescheduled flight for Tenerife early the following morning.
“We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority.”
Wend was fined £2,500 for his unruly behaviour. However, this is not the first time a plane has had to divert due to badly behaved passengers. In February 2018, a plane travelling from Dubai to Amsterdam was forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger refused to stop “passing wind” loudly.