Passenger Sit-In Delays Flight

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Passengers aboard a Moroccan airliner staged a sit-in Saturday that turned what might have been a four-hour inconvenience into a 24-hour ordeal. The 137 passengers on the Jet4You flight from Toulouse to Casablanca bought tickets for a direct flight (about 90 minutes). As they were settling in, the captain announced a couple of detours, first north to Lyon and then back south to Bordeaux, reportedly to pick up pax who were stranded for some reason. The impromptu tour of France would have added at least four hours to the trip and the passengers were having none of that.

Most of the passengers reportedly refused to buckle their seatbelts and soon came to realize that the seatbelts are among the few things that passengers control on an airliner (seatbacks and tray tables come to mind). The captain snapped off the lights, turned off the heat and left his charges to consider their next move. Airport officials said 57 of the pax eventually followed the flight crew to the terminal while the rest sat on the cold dark airliner overnight. They reportedly got the direct flight they demanded at 6 p.m. Sunday.