Fighter Jets Divert Pakistan 777 Away From London Heathrow, Police Arrest Man Not Involved

I’ve called PIA the world’s worst airline. If you think I’m exaggerating, just read this post. But on Tuesday passenger experience took a dive for reasons having nothing to do with airline management.


Boeing 777 on Approach to New York JFK in 2014, Copyright zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo

Yesterday a Pakistan International Airlines flight PK757 from Lahore to London Heathrow was intercepted by Typhoon jets and escorted to London Stansted instead.

What’s especially confusing about the incident is that:

  • There was a threat made against the aircraft

  • When it landed, a “bearded man” was “led off the flight by cops” but he apparently had nothing to do with the threat. It turns out he was simply wanted on fraud charges.

Apparently when there’s a flight with enough of a security threat to cause fighter jets to intercept it (and prepare to shoot it down if it didn’t comply), the government is going to look into all the passengers on the manifest. So if the police in the jurisdiction where you land happen to have a warrant out for your arrest, it’s your bad luck.

British police had earlier said the jet was diverted after reports of a disruptive passenger, but the airline revealed a security threat had been made.

Now Scotland Yard has confirmed that the bearded man being led off the flight by cops was wanted by the Met Police.

But authorities confirmed that the wanted man was not the reason for the plane being intercepted and his arrest was a ‘coincidence’, reports the Guardian.

Here’s inside the aircraft:

It all began with an anonymous phone call suggesting something was going to happen to PK-757. As best as anyone is aware at this point, the call was a hoax.

Nonetheless, emergency equipment met the plane on arrival at Stansted and passengers were held for several hours.

The passenger said: ‘We’ve been here for the last 3 hours. They’re scanning luggage & medics are on the plane.’

Photos posted on Twitter showed several fire engines and a number of ambulances waiting on the ground at Stansted.

Passenger Naz Amin said the flight landed ‘in the middle of nowhere’ and was quickly surrounded by police.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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