Air India: Business class passenger in drunken rant on Heathrow-bound flight after crew refuse to serve her more wine

Adam Withnall

A woman flying in business class from Mumbai to London Heathrow was arrested upon arrival after launching into a drunken rant against cabin crew members who refused to serve her more wine.

Video of the incident has been widely shared among social media users in India, with many praising the calm response of Air India staff in the face of the drunken tirade.

In two clips being shared online, the passenger, whose identity and nationality are not confirmed but who speaks with a British accent, appears clearly inebriated.

Addressing a crew member, she shouts: “I am a f***ing international lawyer. I work for all you f***ing people ... The f***ing Rohingyas, the f***ing people of all Asia, for you, an international criminal lawyer. Don't get any money for it by the way. But you won't give me a glass of wine, is that correct?”

Some portions of the woman’s rant appear to take on racial undertones, with the woman asking if cabin crew “treat all business class passengers like this?” before suggesting she would have been given the wine if she was a “rich Indian f**king money grabbing b**tard”.

Addressing a female flight attendant, the passenger calls her a “f***ing stupid c***”, shouting that she “probably treats people in economy class better” before concluding: “Give me a bottle of wine and get it over with.”

The video, which seems to have been filmed by a member of the cabin crew and was shared online by the aviation journalist Tarun Shukla, shows crew members in the process of writing up a report even as the incident takes place.

“Is that a report about me, love?” the woman asks, before describing herself again as “a f***ing international criminal lawyer and a barrister … you will be p***ed on in court”.

In one section of the video, the woman claims she is also a “leader of the boycott movement” and claps her hands, threatening to call a boycott on Air India.

And in another, she starts to warn cabin crew about what will happen when they land – before forgetting their destination. “Where are we arriving, again?” she asks twice before a staff member helpfully reminds her: “Heathrow”.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said a 50-year-old woman was arrested after an Air India flight landed at Heathrow on Saturday afternoon.

“She was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order, common assault and drunk and disorderly and taken to a west London police station,” police said in a statement. “She was subsequently released under investigation.”

The incident took place on Flight AI-131 from Mumbai to Heathrow on Saturday. The Times of India quoted an airline source as saying the woman was served two bottles of wine but refused a third.

“When the woman demanded another bottle, the crew declined. She then threatened to push over the dessert trolley. She saw an open bottle of wine on it and took it without permission,” the Times quoted the source as saying.

The captain was informed of her behaviour and issued her a warning letter, which the passenger reportedly read aloud before entering the galley and shouting at members of the crew, at which point filming in the video begins.

Air India has been approached for a statement on the incident but is yet to comment.