A Ryanair passenger says he was left feeling “helpless” after a stewardess allegedly said the word “bomb” in mid-air following a security alert.
Dad Jonathan Zulberg, from London, was sitting on the front row of the plane from Lithuania to Luton Airport in Bedfordshire when it was diverted.
The aircraft was escorted into London Stansted Airport by 1,500mph RAF Typhoon jets this morning, before nervous passengers were evacuated.
After the change in route was announced during the flight, Jonathan, 34, says he asked a cabin crew member, who was opposite him, what had happened.
He claims the stewardess responded that a bomb threat had been made on the plane – a comment that he admits he would rather not have heard.
“I was the first seat on the plane. We were told we were being diverted then I heard the air stewardess speaking,” he told Mirror Online.
“I asked what happened and was informed that a bomb threat was made on the plane. The people next to me heard and were asking questions in Lithuanian.
“It was a bit surreal the stewardess was pretty nonchalant about the situation.”
He added: “I didn’t know what to think to be honest.
“I did tell the stewardess that I’d wish she didn’t tell me.”
Jonathan, an IT security consultant, admitted he experienced a “feeling of helplessness” after being told about the “bomb threat” in mid-air.
He claimed that other passengers were not told about the threat until the captain made an announcement after the plane had landed at Stansted.
“They didn’t announce it to everyone till we landed,” he told Mirror Online, speaking shortly after the flight was brought to the ground.
He continued: “I must admit, the mood has been fairly calm. No crying, obviously a bit of nervous laughter and a lots of talking, but no outright panic.”
The flight had been delayed in Kaunas, where Jonathan described seeing fire engines and a police car on the tarmac.
“We were delayed getting on the plane in Kaunas,” he said.
“When we were allowed to board we saw fire engines and a police car but weren’t told anything and we took off.”
He added: “First, [the] pilot told us of diversion. Then only once landed after about 5-10 mins pilot made announcement of bomb threat.
“When I heard I was pretty surprised the plane was allowed to take off.”
Ryanair told Mirror Online police had carried out a security search and cleared the aircraft to return to service while in Kaunas. The airline said the plane was then diverted to Stansted, “in line with security procedures”, en route to Luton.
RAF fighter jets were seen escorting the plane into Stansted shortly before 9am, while armed police were scrambled on the tarmac.
Eyewitnesses claimed they were taken off the plane by up to 25 officers in a line, as the airport was reportedly put in “lockdown”.
Pictures showed travellers – including children and a man on crutches – being led away from Flight FR2145 by armed cops.
Sniffer dogs were also reportedly deployed. All flights in and out of Stansted were grounded while the plane was brought to ground.
Ryanair said the security scare was a suspected hoax, while Essex Police said officers had found nothing suspicious on board.
A Ryanair spokeswoman said: ““This flight from Kaunas to London Luton (4 Oct) was delayed ahead of take-off after Lithuanian authorities received a suspected hoax security alert. Police carried out a security search and cleared the aircraft to return to service, customers boarded and the flight departed to Luton.