Once Burned, El Al Shies From Flying Abusive Passenger

The passenger who attacked a purser had to be restrained by passengers and other crew members.

El Al Airlines will not permit a passenger who attacked a purser to fly on its aircraft again, Haaretz has learned.

The passenger, an Israeli in his 60s, refused to heed the purser's instructions to clear the aisles as the plane was landing in London. When the purser insisted, he punched her, and had to be restrained by passengers and other crew members.

El Al Boeing 757 Moti Milrod
Moti Milrod

The man was arrested by the British authorities on arrival.

The airline did not allow him to board his return flight with the company and refunded him the money for the unused portion of his ticket.

"El Al will not stand for violence of any kind on its flights and will respond to such incidents to the full extent the law," a statement from the company said.

The attack on the purser is the latest of several violent incidents on airplanes to Israel and in the arrivals and customs hall at Ben-Gurion International Airport.

In one case last October, a couple cursed and shouted at the station manager of Sun D'Or Airlines when they learned they would not be able to board their flight to Paris, for which they had arrived late.

In another case, a violent argument broke out between two people on board an El Al aircraft to Israel.

Police, customs vow more severe response

The police and the customs unit at the airport said that beginning this summer, they will be responding more severely to violence against customs inspectors following a series of attacks on customs personnel.

A 53-year-old traveler from Azerbaijan who was caught while trying to smuggle in cigarettes and clothing, tried to run away, but was caught and scratched a customs official hard enough for her victim to require medical attention.

In another incident, when customs officers asked a 23-year old man returning from the United States to open his suitcase, he cursed them and attempted to hit them with the bag.