Passengers have spoken of their terror after a ‘security threat’ forced their flight to be diverted away from Manchester Airport.
The Jet2 flight from Dalaman in Turkey was escorted by two RAF jets to Stansted last week (October 12) following unconfirmed reports of a bomb threat. Terrified travellers said they ‘had no idea’ what was going on as the plane landed in a ‘red point’ at the airport before armed police swarmed around it, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Passenger Andrea Aspinwall said police had their guns pointed at the aircraft as it sat stationary for around two hours. She said passengers onboard were told to ‘sit calm’ but that ‘everyone started panicking’.
Andrea, from north Wales, said she sensed that ‘something was wrong’ when the plane began circling in the moments after the pilot announced that they would soon be landing at Manchester Airport. She said: “We thought we were near Manchester but then the plane kept circling.
“The pilot had said we would be landing soon and all the staff were in their seats.” She said the toilets were then locked, everyone was told to stay in their seats and then the plane landed after turning.
“When we actually landed on this strip with nothing there, we were taken to a ‘red point'”, she said. “The air hostesses couldn’t tell us what was going on.
“We were sat there and then we saw all these armed police driving up. We were terrified. We knew something was wrong then. Police had their guns pointing at the plane.
“Everyone started panicking, I started crying, I’m disabled so I don’t take things good as it is.”
She added: “The pilot came on and said ‘don’t worry we need to sit calm’ but no one could stand up and this was for a good two hours. We didn’t know where we were.
“We saw it on the internet and people saw it on social media. Everyone was saying ‘oh my god’ as it said it was a bomb scare. It was scary, it really was. I don’t get frightened very easily but I was scared. It was the scariest moment of my life.”
Andrea said the pilot was eventually able to leave the cockpit and speak to passengers. He apologised and said they were told they had to land as soon as possible, she added.