Airport worker in France punches traveller carrying baby

NICE • European budget airline EasyJet is seeking "urgent answers" after a worker at Nice airport appeared to attack one of its passengers, who was holding a baby, last Saturday.

A photo taken by another passenger, Ms Arabella Arkwright, which she posted on Twitter, showed the worker - believed to be a special assistance provider at the airport - throwing a punch at the man's face in front of other passengers.

The victim was among a group of passengers who had had their flight, EZY2122 from Nice to Luton, delayed for about 13 hours.

He was reportedly holding the baby as his wife was complaining to airport staff about the lack of baby food and seats.

Ms Arkwright told the BBC: "The man with the baby... went over and talked to the Frenchman and the Frenchman didn't reply, he just smiled and smirked and then whacked this guy on the left side of his face."

She added that her husband restrained the worker as they waited for police to arrive.

EasyJet has since confirmed that the attacker is not one of its employees, and is believed to work for the airport's special assistance provider Samsic.

A photo posted by Ms Arabella Arkwright showing an airport worker punching a passenger in the face.
A photo posted by Ms Arabella Arkwright showing an airport worker punching a passenger in the face. PHOTO: TWITTER ACCOUNT OF ARABELLA ARKWRIGHT

SUDDEN ATTACK

The man with the baby... went over and talked to the Frenchman and the Frenchman didn't reply, he just smiled and smirked and then whacked this guy on the left side of his face.

PASSENGER ARABELLA ARKWRIGHT, who took the photo of the airport worker hitting a passenger.

 

Samsic provides workers to help disabled passengers at the airport.

"EasyJet is very concerned to see this picture and can confirm the person in the photo is not an EasyJet member of staff and does not work for EasyJet's ground handling agents in Nice," the airline said.

"We are urgently taking this up with Nice airport and their special assistance provider Samsic, who we understand the person photographed works for."

The airline also apologised to passengers for the delay, which it attributed to a technical issue with the plane.

The victim, who according to Ms Arkwright appeared unhurt except for a mark on his face, later boarded the flight to cheers from his fellow passengers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2017, with the headline 'Airport worker in France punches traveller carrying baby'. Print Edition | Subscribe