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Trespassing Russian Passengers Ground Cancun Flight

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Frustrated Vacationers Returning Home Question Security Process After Waiting On Tarmac For Hours

A frustrating security oversight left holidayers returning home stranded on the airport tarmac for hours after two trespassing Russian passengers managed to board a flight from Cancun International Airport. Reports are still emerging as to how they were able to board.

grouned tui flight

German budget carrier TUI has found itself as the source of more traveler frustration in Cancun this week. According to a British couple on holiday in Playa del Carmen with their baby girl, the flight was due to leave for Manchester Airport on time when a sudden delay was announced.

The boarding process had been smooth and the plane was on the tarmac ready to depart when the delay became apparent. After being held on the plane for some time, the pilot eventually announced that two passengers had made it onto the plane that should not have been on the flight.

tui flight

At this point, according to Brit Lara Beasley, the aircraft went into meltdown. Men, women, and children alike were crying, yelling at staff, and even screaming in fear. The immediate reason for the panic was unclear, but it may be assumed much thought they were in danger as the trespassing party may have intended to cause harm to those on the plane or worse.

In actuality, it was revealed that the two passengers were Russians trying to enter the UK illegally. The two travelers had successfully boarded without any visa or immigration paperwork required for entry to the country. When the problem was made apparent staff approached the Russians to have them removed from the plane.

airport security area

According to another passenger, when confronted the Russians refused to disembark the plane and a “kerfuffle” ensued. It is unclear if any physical violence occurred or if it was just an argument, but the heightened tensions distressed many of the people on board, The pilot entered the cabin to reassure the cabin, but recent tensions regarding the Ukrainian war left passengers concerned at the ongoing clash on the plane.

It took around half an hour for those involved to be removed from the plane, delaying the departure considerably. Frustrations were mounted as to how they could have boarded in the first place, questioning Cancun International Airport’s security process. In theory, they should not have been able to get through check-in, customs, and security without having their documents checked. It is also unclear who eventually became aware of the lack of documentation.

tui travel agent

Sadly for the returning vacationers, the ordeal was only beginning. Shortly after the departure of the two unauthorized passengers, another announcement was made explaining that a suspicious package had been found on the plane and was being investigated.

Of course, this scenario is a flier’s worst nightmare and more panic ensued, with many passengers now genuinely concerned for their well-being. Questions have been asked as to why the passengers were not removed during the search for their safety in an attempt to reduce any stress.

manchester airport

In actuality, the “suspicious package” was only an e-cigarette. It is unknown what led someone to identify the object as something of more concern. The investigation took another fifteen minutes before the all-clear was given. Passengers then had to stay on the tarmac for another hour and fifteen minutes before their ten-hour flight eventually took off. Comments from TUI suggest this may have been partly due to attempts to get the unregistered passengers’ bags off the plane which required handlers to be reassigned to the plane.

inside of tui flight

Some passengers had tried to get their luggage down from the overhead storage in an attempt to leave the plane, and many cited severe distress at the entire situation. Tui’s only statement was “We’re aware of this incident and we take incidents of this nature extremely seriously. Our crew worked quickly to offload the passengers and their bags so the flight could depart.”

cancun airport

Passengers were met with even more frustration upon arrival in Manchester when their luggage took a further two hours to make it to the baggage claim.

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