British Airways Upgrades Passenger Who Tackled Drunk Russian on Flight to Bangkok

A Russian passenger onboard British Airways flight BA9 on January 21 from London Heathrow to Bangkok became “very aggressive” after drinking his own duty free whiskey and additional drinks served by flight attendants.

Video shows passengers taking him down. The plane didn’t divert despite a couple of hours to go on the flight. One man reported a business class upgrade, though, on the way back as a reward for his heroism.

Shocking mobile phone footage shows eight men and two women grapple with the thug, while cabin crew fetch handcuffs and straight-jacket style body straps.

They eventually subdue the aggressor and hold him down in his seat for the remaining two hours of the flight.

…The chef, 47, from Darlington, bundled the man into his seat after being attacked while waiting for the toilet.

He said: ”I was standing near his seat waiting for the lavatory when he came behind me and he hit me in the back and started pushing me.

The shocking thing here is that British Airways didn’t divert the flight while this was occurring.

Here’s video of the incident:

Here’s maybe the strangest part of the story: while Thai police boarded the flight on arrival, they “said they couldn’t arrest the man until he was on the tarmac. Passengers and cabin crew were then forced to bundle the passenger off the plane before cops took him away.”

Ultimately, though not reported, one imagines the man skipped over the yellow card stage and received a full ban from British Airways.

Simon Johnson, one of the passengers who tackled the drunk Russian passenger, reported receiving THB2000 (~ US$57) and an upgrade to business class for his Bangkok – London return flight as compensation.

British Airways Boeing 777 Business Class

It seems to me he deserved an upgrade to first class, though I suppose he should be happy British Airways didn’t enforce a “one cabin upgrade” to premium economy only rule!

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, 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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  1. Typical loud mouth Russian drunk. He should be banned from travel for life. He’s most likely a Trump supporter. All the rude, drunk and aggressive Russians tend to support Putin and Trump.

  2. The Biz upgrade is wonderful & valuable, but BA made themselves look like bloody cheapskates by rewarding him with a voucher for a measly 45 bloody quid!

  3. From the original article:
    “He added: ”The attack gave me spasms in my back and it actually ruined what should have been a really relaxing five day break to see a friend.
    ”I had to be helped off the plane myself. I was bent double in pain and my back was having spasms.”

    – that was probably the main reason why the guy was upgraded on the way back.

  4. Thanks for the comment Roman. BTW, my grandparents were Russian born. I said all the rude, drunk and aggressive ones were Putin & Trump supporters I didn’t say all Russians were that way. You seem a bit defensive.

  5. “All the rude, drunk and aggressive Russians tend to support Putin and Trump.”

    And all the gays, lesbians, hupsters and people who loves giv benefits supports Hillary. Is that what you mean

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