'Idiotic' passenger at Luton Airport causes havoc after lighting cigarette while boarding plane

The man is led away (SWNS)
The man is led away (SWNS)

This is the moment an 'idiotic' passenger at Luton Airport was led away by easyJet staff after he tried to board a plane with a lit cigarette while it was being filled with thousands of gallons of aviation fuel.

The unnamed man in his 40s was boarding a flight to Geneva at 7.30am yesterday (Thursday) when he decided to pull out a cigarette and start smoking.

Luckily, he was quickly spotted by a member of easyJet's ground crew who ran over to him, seized the cigarette and stubbed it out on the ground.

The smoker, who was travelling with his family, was then banned from boarding the flight by the plane's pilot and escorted away by ground crew.

Sara Beecroft, 43, a passenger on the flight, said she was "absolutely outraged and in disbelief" after witnessing the smokers "absolute stupidity".

She also said a woman, who was a member of the aviation team, immediately ran over to the smoker and "grabbed the cigarette out of his hand and stubbed it out."

The mum-of-two, from St Albans, Herts., said: "It was outrageous, everyone was going crazy - we could've died.

"It doesn't bare to think what could've happened. It was just an act of stupidity. He endangered the life of everyone on the plane.

"Everybody couldn't believe it, we were all outraged there was lots of passengers shouting, we just all couldn't believe it."

Another passenger Gideon Carroll, CEO of EdgePetrol - a fuel retail company - said the smokers actions could have caused "extreme danger" to all passengers.

He added: "I couldn't believe my senses when I could smell the cigarette smoke.

"People were worried that he could've blown everybody up.

"It just could've been catastrophic. I almost did a double take at him, I couldn't believe my eyes."

Gideon said the pilot came down from the aircraft and said the smoker wasn't allowed to fly - however, he added the pilot allowed the smoker's family to continue their flight.

He said the smoker then was escorted to a shuttle bus and taken back to the airport.

Gideon added: "It was nice to see the ground staff dealing with it very quickly.

"It is incredible that really happened.

"I have never seen anything like that in my career. As a passenger on the flight it was pleasing to see the staff had zero tolerance."

An easyJet spokesman said: "We can confirm that a passenger on flight EZY2051 from London Luton to Geneva was denied boarding due to behaving disruptively prior to departure.

"Our staff are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time.

"Whilst such incidents are rare we take them very seriously and do not tolerate disruptive behaviour.

"The safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is always easyJet's priority."

A London Luton Airport spokesperson said: “The safety of our passengers is our number one priority and we will not tolerate disruptive behaviour in any form.”