Under the heading Air passengers in ‘Lord of the Flies’ mutiny after seven-hour delay, the Evening Standard reported on 27 May:
One witness likened the scene on the Middle East Airlines service to “something from Lord Of The Flies” as passengers raided the galley for meal trays and a Lebanese woman suffered heart palpitations. The flight to Beirut was one of 80 delayed for an average of two hours or cancelled as thunderstorms and winds of up to 40mph battered the country. City worker Jordan Lancaster was among the 250 people who boarded the flight at 1pm. It then missed its departure slot.
Ms Lancaster, a 45-year-old legal translator travelling to an archaological dig, called the Evening Standard at 7pm and said: “It is like something from Lord Of The Flies, people are hysterical. There are at least four babies and lots of elderly people on board.
“The crew have given up trying to explain the situation to people, and it has ended up in fisticuffs. Several men are also arguing with the captain. This guy in his fifties is so worked up he is being given oxygen.”
As Ms Lancaster was talking, a male cabin crew member could be heard over the intercom saying: “If any of our crew have been rude to you, we apologise for that.
Next time I’m stuck on a plane on the tarmac – it happened at Christmas in Nuremberg, with a pilot from Augsburg Airways who wanted us to be towed into the air – must remember my mobile phone and a journalistic hook like ‘Lord of the Flies’.
(Thanks to Andrew of ITI for the tip-off)