Zimbabwean woman banned for life from all British Airways flights

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A Zimbabwean fashion stylist – Bridget Nhire has been banned for life from all British Airways flights after a “minor argument” with another passenger over stretching her legs on a Dubai bound plane.Bridget-Nhire

The 33-year-old stylist was handcuffed and escorted off the flight after a man sitting behind her complained that she kept getting up from her seat.

Nhire claimed the man in his 40s began arguing with her at 30,000ft on a Heathrow to Dubai flight – and was baffled as to why she was restrained. However, other passengers claimed she was drunk during the flight, hurled racist remarks at staff and passengers and tried to get into the pilot’s cockpit.

She said: “I was treated like a terrorist. It was humiliating. I was sat down and they put tight handcuffs on my wrists and strapped me to the chair. I had bruises for weeks.”

“I only got up three times, but the guy behind me was complaining and asked me why I kept getting up. I told him I had a right to get up and walk around, but it escalated into a heated debate.

“The crew asked me to move to the front and said I was being aggressive.”

She hit back at claims from the crew that she may have been drinking.

“They thought I was drunk. I’d had two glasses of white wine with a chicken meal on the plane. I was definitely not drunk.”

However, a passenger on the plane who wished to remain anonymous, told MailOnline: “She went to the toilet at least 20 times and had what looked like little bottles of alcohol in her hand. She was screaming at people for about an hour and the staff went over to calm her down, at which point she started shouting “This is because I’m black. This is racist”.

“She started shouting at a man a few seats behind her who was telling her to shut up and she was trying to reach across to him. She was really aggressive.”

“Then she ran to the front of the plane to the cockpit and said “I’m going to talk to the pilot”, at which point the air stewards had to restrain her.

“At least four people were trying to handcuff her, and one put a blanket over her head. It was genuinely traumatising. There were small children on the plane. People were terrified. I just couldn’t believe what was happening, it was absolutely disgraceful.

“There was talk of doing an emergency landing in Iran which we were flying over at the time. I’ve the utmost respect for the staff for dealing with it so well.”

Nhire was forced to sit, accompanied by a security guard, for 90 minutes until the plane landed.

When other passengers had left the plane, Dubai police escorted her to a station but freed her without charge five hours later and gave her the life ban – which Nhire has branded an over-reaction.

She said: “When the police released me from the handcuffs I just broke down. I was in tears, they didn’t know what to do with a crying woman.

“Nobody wanted to listen to anything I had to say. I was a l ong term customer with BA. I used to think they were the best, but now I would warn anybody never to fly with them.’

Ten days later Nhire discovered British Airways had cancelled her seat and refused to let her on a plane to fly back home when she turned up for her return flight.

She was left stranded at Dubai International for 11 hours and called her mother to organise a different flight.

She is now demanding £350 compensation from the airline as a result.

Her mother said that BA needed to be held “accountable” for leaving her daughter stranded.

The airline stated that it does not comment on individual cases, but says lifetime bans can be appealed. – DailyMail.