BA Compensation After Saudi Flight Horror
British Airways has promised compensation after hundreds of Heathrow-bound passengers reportedly endured an horrific experience on a faulty plane that led to fights in Saudi Arabia.
The Boeing 747 had to return to Riyadh twice because of a recurring wing flap problem.
Describing the scenes after the second landing, passenger Dean Jones told the online Daily Mail there was "mayhem" as a BA worker tried to deal with more than 300 passengers while other ground crew allegedly "hid' in a back office.
He went on: "Fights broke out and the military turned up."
Mr Jones said that on the first return to Riyadh on Wednesday "there was screaming and crying and we hit the runway with a massive bang".
He said passengers had to make their own way to accommodation, before being told to return to the airport at 3am for a flight on the same plane that eventually took off at 8.45am.
Around 30 minutes in, the wing flap problem recurred. Mr Jones said: "This time people were even more frightened. Women were crying. People were being sick."
After landing, around 70 passengers refused to leave and called for an official to explain what was happening.
A BA spokesman said today: "We apologise to customers for their experience, and we sent a replacement aircraft to fly them to the UK.
"Our customer service teams are contacting customers directly to offer compensation, expenses and complimentary tickets as a gesture of goodwill.
"The safety of our customers and crew is always our first concern and due to a technical problem, the decision was taken to return the aircraft to Riyadh.
"Our crew and customer service teams did everything they could to care for customers, and we provided overnight hotel accommodation."
The incident first began 48 hours before a BA aircraft bound for Hong Kong returned to the airport because of technical problems understood to involve the left wing's landing gear.
In May, a BA flight caught fire as it flew over central London - leading to a dramatic emergency landing at the west London hub airport.
According to an official accident investigation, doors on both engines had been left unlatched during maintenance.
They then fell off as the aircraft left the runway, puncturing a fuel pipe on the right engine.