Flight delayed 5 hours at Ben Gurion as passenger demands to smoke weed

Passengers on flight to Romania, including the would-be smoker, rail at airline after announcement that luggage was not coming with them

View of a Wizzair flight taking off from Ben Gurion International Airport, September 3, 2014. (Moshe Shai/Flash 90)
View of a Wizzair flight taking off from Ben Gurion International Airport, September 3, 2014. (Moshe Shai/Flash 90)

A Tuesday flight from Tel Aviv to Romania was reportedly delayed for five hours due to luggage mishaps and a passenger who said he wanted to smoke.

The Wizz Air-operated flight carrying approximately 250 passengers was set to depart when passengers learned that their luggage had not been loaded on to the plane and that they would arrive at their destination without it.

Passengers then refused to sit in their seats, and one declared that he wanted to smoke a cigarette, prompting the pilot to call the police, Channel 12 news reported.

“The flight attendants were helpless and the pilot did not want to take off for safety reasons,” an unnamed eyewitness was quoted as saying. “Arguments broke out between the passengers and it almost devolved into physical violence.”

When the police arrived, however, they were met with angry passengers who came to the would-be smoker’s defense.

A video of the incident published by Channel 12 showed two uniformed officers speaking to a passenger on the plane, apparently the one who had said he wanted to smoke, who stood up. Other passengers then intervened, telling the first passenger not to stand up because it may “entangle him” further in the altercation, they said.

A passenger was then heard telling police officers to “tell the pilot to go fuck himself. Who is he anyway?”

The would-be smoker then interjected: “I want to smoke a cigarette… I’ve been here for four hours, I’m going to smoke a cigarette! I smoke weed! I’m sick, I’m allowed to smoke weed, I have a permit.”

“Bring Yasam,” he added, referring to the riot and crowd control unit of the Israel Police, “bring everyone.”

Officers at the scene appeared to remain calm.

Police did not detain or remove anyone from the plane and eventually left after questioning those onboard, an unnamed eyewitness was quoted as saying.

“After they didn’t find anything, they [police] left and the flight took off after the pilot came to the conclusion that it was safe to fly,” the witness said.

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