What had seemed to be a uniquely American issue with violent and abusive airline and airport workers has now spread across the pond. An airport worker this week was caught on camera punching a passenger in the face. Worse yet, the man who took the punch was reportedly holding a baby.
The incident occurred in Nice, France. CNN reports that the passenger holding the baby had asked a question about a delay. An 11 hour delay. The member of the ground staff he asked the question to wasn’t in a questioning mood, though, and answered the man with a punch in the face .
The EasyJet flight was supposed to fly from Nice to Luton, England. Yet an 11 hour delay kept it grounded.
“It was awful the whole thing. I just can’t believe people can behave like that,” one passenger, Arabella Arkwright, wrote. She is the one who captured the punch on film.
— Arabella Ark (@ArabellaArkwri1) July 29, 2017
Arkwright’s husband restrained the airport worker until the police arrived. The man who was punched was also taken away, but he appeared again later, in time for the flight.
“We had a serious problem with someone of staff from our subcontractor Samsic,” Jean-François Guitard, a director at Nice airport told CNN.
The Samsic employee, possibly feeling the heat from the delay, was quick to lash out. It is unclear what was asked or said.
Samsic has suspended the employee. “Clearly it is a misconduct situation. We apologize strongly about this situation regarding this passenger. There is no reason for a staff member to fight a passenger,” Guitard said.
We are concerned to see this – it is not an easyJet staff member & they do not work for our ground handling agents. 1/2
— easyJet Press Office (@easyJet_press) July 30, 2017
“EasyJet is very concerned to see this picture and can confirm the person in the photo is not an EasyJet member of staff and they do not work for EasyJet’s ground handling agents in Nice,” EasyJet noted in a statement.
“We are urgently taking this up with Nice Airport and their special assistance provider Samsic who we understand the person photographed works for.”
The delay was safety related. A technical problem on the plane kept it grounded. A new plane was flown in from London to replace it.
“Passengers were provided with updates and refreshment vouchers during this time and the flight landed in London Luton last night,” EasyJet added.
Some of them were provided with a bit more, too.