Footage posted on social media by Aer Lingus passenger shows a flight attendant confronting the man, claiming to be part of the Extinction Rebellion protests at London City Airport, who says he “is extremely sorry for the inconvenience” but his actions are part of the protest movement. Irate passengers can be heard calling on the protester to “sit down,” with one suggesting that the crew simply “do us all a favor” and remove him immediately.
At one point a flight attendant responds to those urging the protester to take his seat, saying that at this point he must be escorted off the plane.
The plane was about to take off for Dublin, Ireland when the man stood up and began talking about climate change, refusing to return to his seat. The plane taxied back to the gate, and police boarded to remove him.
The onboard protest comes as Extinction Rebellion threatened to occupy and shut down London City Airport for three days, starting at 9am local time Thursday. Security measures were heavily stepped-up ahead of the demonstration, and only passengers with valid boarding cards and ID are allowed into the terminal.
A number of protesters have been removed from the airport entrance and arrested.