Scotland

Football fans 'refused' access to flight

Fans arriving at Edinburgh airport
Image caption Football fans who were refused access to a flight over claims they were drunk have arrived back in Scotland

Scottish football fans who were refused access to an Easyjet flight from Amsterdam over claims they were drunk have begun arriving back in Scotland.

More than 50 members of the Tartan Army were stopped from boarding a flight to Prague on Thursday, to watch Scotland play the Czech Republic.

The airline claimed they were warned about their consumption of alcohol.

But some fans arriving back at Edinburgh airport on Friday said they felt they had been mistreated.

The Airbus A319 plane had 90 passengers on board.

One returning member of the Tartan Army, Stuart Fairweather, said: "I don't think anyone is denying that people were drinking but I wouldn't say it was out of hand or anyone was all over the place.

"The main thing that was perhaps annoying - was that it wasn't as if they took people aside one by one and said look you have had too much to drink - you won't be getting on the flight.

"It was a generalisation that nobody was getting on this flight.

"We spoke to the police and they said they had been told that we had been denied entry onto the plane because four or five people were drunk and causing a nuisance - so that means 50 or so didn't get on the flight."

A spokeswoman for Easyjet said: "Easyjet can confirm that on Thursday 6 October, 59 passengers were refused boarding a flight to Prague while at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport due to being intoxicated from excessive alcohol.

"The safety of our passengers is our number one priority and easyjet has a zero tolerance policy towards any unacceptable behaviour.

"This was not a blanket decision made for all Scottish fans flying with Easyjet on the flight and some fans, who were not intoxicated, boarded the aircraft and successfully flew to Prague."

The group had flown in from Edinburgh and Liverpool to catch the Easyjet flight to Prague.

'Visibly intoxicated'

The spokeswoman added: "The flight was slightly delayed due to technical reasons and all passengers were offered a 4.50 euro refreshment voucher.

"As per the Easyjet standard policy, the passengers were informed that the voucher could not be used for alcoholic beverages.

"After being particularly noisy in one of the airport bars, the group were politely warned by airport staff that if they continued to drink heavily that they would not be allowed fly that evening.

"When the Easyjet flight to Prague was called for boarding, the group left the bar and were visibly intoxicated.

"As safety is our number one priority, the matter was discussed with the pilot and it was decided they were too drunk to fly."

A spokeswoman for Schipol airport in Amsterdam said: "It wasn't the airport that stopped them boarding the flight, it was Easyjet's decision.

"Police were called. The police didn't have a problem with the Scottish fans. No arrests were made."

Central Scotland SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said a number of the fans who have been affected were her constituents.

She said: "Easyjet have questions to answer over their own behaviour and failing to meet their own contractual duties with paying customers.

"My constituents assure me that they were not drunk and were shocked by this arbitrary decision."

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