Crew on an easyJet flight have been forced to call police mid-flight after a group of Orthodox Jewish men refused to sit next to women on religious grounds.
Scenes were described by one passenger as “absolute bedlham” on the flight from Tel Aviv to London’s Luton Airport on Monday as the group also plugged a phone into the plane’s control panel.
Police reportedly boarded the flight at Luton to prevent a possible “breach of the peace” after the call from 30,000ft.
However, no arrests were made.
The group of Charedi men refused to take their seats next to female passengers prior to take-off in Tel Aviv, blocking the aisles on the full flight until they were looked after,
The passenger told the website: “At one point there were about 10 men in black hats blocking the aisles and refusing to sit down.
“It was impossible for the stewards to get these people to listen to them.
“When some of the women got up and moved seats to ensure that the plane got to take off, some of these men never even thought about saying ‘thank you’.
“Then after the plane took off one male plugged his phone into the control panel above the stewards’ area (causing the exit lights to come on).”
The stand-off lasted 15 minutes but easyJet confirmed they also refused to take their seats during the flight.
“Separately during the flight a passenger plugged a mobile device into a USB port on the crew control panel in the forward galley in a foolish attempt to charge it,” the airline said.
Police said they were called to reports of “disruptive men” on the flight but no offences had been committed.