A passenger suffering from cancer and diabetes claims his hands and feet were tied by six British Airways crew who “treated him like a slave” after he fell ill in midair and tried to sit in first class.
Kwame Bantu, 65, claims he was handcuffed to the seat with his legs bound together as it was claimed the crew banned him from using the toilet and ordered him to defecate in his seat.
Mr Bantu was heading to see family in Jamaica when he says he began to feel dizzy and saw his leg swelling an hour after taking off from Gatwick.
He tried to move to a more comfortable first class seat so he could stretch his legs but says he was “ambushed” by stewards who dragged him back to his seat in economy and strapped him down by the neck and shoulders.
He and another passenger who tried to stand up for him were reportedly thrown off the BA jet after the captain diverted to a Portuguese air force base on the Atlantic island Terceira yesterday.
Mr Bantu, from London, said, they ambushed me. I was completely humiliated, my human rights had been taken away from me.
They refused to listen about my medical illness and what I was going through. I was treated like a slave.
It’s when some of the other passengers expressed their concern for me that they stopped the plane and landed to kick us out.
Joy Stoney, 40, a businesswoman from Yorkshire who did not know Mr Bantu, says cabin crew handcuffed the OAP and told him to “defecate in his seat, when he said he needed to go to toilet.
She said: He was holding his crotch area for a while and it was horrible to see. I called the steward manager to come see me and told her I would escort him to the toilet myself.
They said, He needs to defecate himself in the chair, and I think that is utterly inhumane.”
Mr Bantu and Ms Stoney say they were stranded on the island without their luggage and have had no help from the British consulate.
Jo Henry, from London, said British Airways was “heavy handed” in the way they dealt with the elderly passenger.
She said: They dealt with the situation really badly they were totally heavy handed.
There were six or seven police officers who came on-board when we landed in Portugal,there was no need for that.
New mother Jo, who was taking her eight-month-old baby on her first flight, slammed the airline for the way they treated the rest of the passengers once on the ground.
She said: There was no level of care from the BA staff.
When we landed in Portugal we had to go to a waiting room by ourselves while the cabin crew stayed on the plane.”
A spokesman for the Portuguese police on the island of Terceira said the two people kicked off the flight had not been arrested and the matter was closed as far as they were concerned.
Earlier reports had claimed a rowdy couple who were demanding a free upgrade had forced the plane to divert.
A Portuguese air force spokesman said: “The pilot decided to land in Lajes in the island of Terceira because of a dispute between cabin crew and a couple who wanted to be transferred from economy class to first class.
“The British couple will remain in Terceira and will be questioned by police.”
He said the couple had filmed the spat on a mobile phone.
The row erupted on flight BA2263 after it left London Gatwick Airport for Jamaican capital Kingston on Wednesday, officials confirmed.
According to Flight Tracker, the plane left Gatwick at 11.36am before diverting to Terceira at 3pm to offload the two passengers.
The aircraft then left the Portuguese island at 7.15pm and returned to London without ever completing its route to Jamaica.
A spokesman for British Airways said: Caring for our customers is our highest priority and we are investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident.
The flight returned to Gatwick and customers were taken to hotels.
Meanwhile, a Delta Air Lines passenger was kicked off a flight because he was desperate for the loo after waiting half an hour for takeoff.
Video shows Kima Hamilton’s “outrageous” clash with cabin crew, which ended with everyone on board being forced to leave the plane and a further two-hour delay.
Earlier this month, United Airlines workers dragged a bloodied doctor off an overbooked jet to make way for airline staff.
It got worse for the airline yesterday when it emerged a celebrity’s prized giant rabbit died on board on a flight from the UK.
On Friday an American Airlines flight attendant was caught on camera “whacking” a mum of twins with a pushchair and challenging another passenger to hit him.