Two Muslim men were ordered off a plane and made to go back through security after passengers complained that they were ‘making gestures’ to each other.
The men were taken off the Izmir to Manchester service before the Thomas Cook service left the Turkish airport. Two female passengers told cabin crew that they saw the men ‘skipping security scanners’ and signalling to each other while on the plane.
The flight was delayed by 90 minutes, as the men were hauled off and taken back to the terminal to re-do security checks. When they were eventually given the all clear they were allowed back on the flight.
However, their accusers refused to fly with them and chose to return to the terminal. Fellow passengers described the incident as ‘an embarrassment’.
One, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘Two innocent Muslim men were marched off plane and searched as two English ladies refused to fly with them on the plane.
‘The result was a delay for everyone and the men flew, while the women were left behind.’ The men were said to have remained calm throughout the ordeal, despite the accusations.
A spokesman for Thomas Cook Airlines, said: ‘Two customers on this flight were asked to go through security a second time as a precaution, after unverified concerns were raised that the initial airport security check had missed them out.
‘We’d like to thank these two customers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience.’