TESTIMONY. “Passengers have taken the plane hostage”: Travelers on the Toulouse-Marrakech flight recount their nightmarish evening

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After the announcement of the cancellation of the flight, several passengers from Toulouse-Marrakech took possession of the aircraft in the night of Wednesday 13 to Thursday 14 July. Story of a nightmarish evening.

“This trip will remain in our memories. We felt like we were cattle, real pieces of meat.” This is a journey Guillaume and Julien will remember. The two Toulousains, who had chosen bridge this week to party with their friends in Marrakech, were quickly disillusioned. “We will arrive in Blagnac, this Wednesday, July 13, to take the 9:30 p.m. flight. On the panels, the display explains that the aircraft has been delayed indefinitely. In the end, it was by looking at the applications that we understood that we would not be boarding before 3 am,” admits Guillaume.

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The hours go by and tension mounts between passengers and airport staff. Without air conditioning, tempers flare. Families and children can no longer tolerate the heat. When travelers hear in the middle of the night that the flight has finally been canceled, some go crazy.

“A couple of shocks. We were locked in the airport for several hours with no air conditioning. Some passengers began to force boarding and boarded the plane. They opened the doors of the device and then closed it as if it were a car,” Julien says again.

The police intervene

Annoyed and fearing that the plane would take off without them, the passengers rioted. Guillaume tells of an unreal scene: “The pilot was going to leave by plane for Marrakech. People didn’t want the plane to take off without them. For example, there was a Moroccan grandmother with her grandchildren who no longer wanted to get out of her chair. The police surrounded the device. It looked like an action movie, the passengers have taken the plane hostage”.

The situation improves around 7 a.m. when authorities and airport staff begin to negotiate with the passengers. Another flight is being prepared and will depart Toulouse at 11 a.m. (Thursday, July 14, editor’s note).

For the two friends who wanted to party, it’s too late now, the week is ruined. They are not going to Morocco. “Toulouse airport is as much to blame as the airline. We waited like dogs for hours, with no air conditioning. It was outrageous”, Guillaume lets himself be carried away.

Toulouse Blagnac brings his version of the facts.

“There was confusion in the nervousness. For families and children, a delayed flight is not necessarily very comfortable. There were real tensions and it is true that some passengers got on the plane,” admits Alain de la Meslieres, Director of Operations.

What the airport teams do not agree with is especially the access to the cockpit. “The pilot and co-pilot were on board. Passengers therefore had no access to this space. The situation calmed down when the passengers understood that they would have a new flight the next day (Editor’s Note: 14 July) at 10:30 am,” Alain de la Meslieres tempered.

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