A man was escorted off an easyJet flight by armed police and held at an airport for 15 hours because a fellow passenger said he made her “feel uncomfortable”.
Mehary Yemane-Tesfagiorgis had boarded a flight to Gatwick from Rome only for it to be held for 20 minutes due to a technical fault with the luggage.
Eventually, his name was called out on the intercom and he came forward, assuming there was a problem with his bags.
The 34-year-old told London Live: “Before you know it I’m asked to come to the front of the cabin where I was greeted by armed police and as, you can imagine, I was quite livid.”
He went on: “The captain proceeded to explain that a fellow passenger has stated that she doesn’t feel comfortable with me on board, at which point I said in no uncertain terms that she should get off the plane.”
Yemane-Tesfagiorgis, who is now considering legal action, said he felt “humiliated” and “violated” by the experience.
During the 15 hours he was held, the Londoner said he was asked a series of “nonsense” questions by police and told he had been seen performing “suspicious activity”.
He was eventually allowed home the following afternoon.
He said: “I feel strongly, and I’ve let everyone know, the people at easyJet and family, friends, associates, that a person’s skin colour is not reasonable suspicion whatsoever.”
A spokesman for the airline said: “EasyJet can confirm that flight EZY5258 from Rome Fiumicino to London Gatwick on March 29 was delayed due to the police requesting that additional security checks were undertaken before departure.
“Mr Yemane-Tesfagiorgis was questioned by the authorities as a result of another passenger reporting concerns about his behaviour.
“The safety and security of its passengers and crew is our highest priority and airlines have to take any security-related concerns seriously.
“EasyJet rebooked Mr Yemane-Tesfagiorgis on the next flight from Rome to Gatwick after the authorities confirmed they were satisfied he could travel.”
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