A FLIGHT from Barcelona to Dublin was yesterday delayed for almost three hours as a man managed to board with false documentation and proceeded to lock himself into the bathroom in an effort not to be removed from the plane.
The flight was originally due to leave Barcelona at 12:40pm but was delayed after security allegedly got a tip-off that someone had boarded with a fake passport.
The man, who boarded flight VY8720 with budget airline Vueling, locked himself into the bathroom after staff on the flight began checking for passports and tickets, according to Dublin Live.
Passengers Mark Megarry and Paul Steward told the Dublin-based media outlet:
"Apparently police and security got word that someone had boarded the plane that shouldn't have.
"An air hostess began asking everyone on the plane for their boarding passes and passports.
"The man was sitting in front of us and after the air hostess had checked ours, he jumped up out of his seat and ran.
On a @vueling flight to Dublin Airport from Barcelona and a man gets the whole flight emptied because he got on with no Passport or boarding pass. How can this happen in 2019? pic.twitter.com/fi30i2Okh3
— mark megarry (@markmegaz) November 11, 2019
"He pushed his way past the air hostess. A passenger near the back jumped out of their seat and tried to stop him also but he pushed them out of the way too and locked himself in the bathroom.
"Passengers began to panic then as they thought there was a bomb threat or something."
While initial reports suggested the intruder had boarded the plane without a passport or boarding pass, a statement issued from Vueling to Dublin Live said the suspect was in possession of a "false passport".
"Gate agents identified a passenger trying to board this flight with a false passport," the statement reads.
"Whilst waiting for the arrival of the authorities, this person managed to run towards the aircraft toilet and lock himself therein."
After a delay in which passengers were evacuated from the flight and forced to wait several hours before re-checking in, the flight eventually took off shortly before 3.30pm and landed in Ireland at approximately 5.30pm.