Stranded passengers on a diverted flight to Douala, Cameroon, have caused massive disruption at Brussels International Airport this morning, Le Soir reports.
Flight SN369 was forced to divert back to Brussels Airport (Zaventem) after experiencing technical problems over Orléans, France. Passengers disembarked at the terminal while the airline looked for alternative transport, which ultimately did not come.
Most of these passengers were in transit and did not possess a valid visa to enter Belgium, rendering it impossible to transfer them to a local hotel. After waiting all day at the airport on Wednesday, passengers awoke on Thursday hoping to board a replacement aircraft scheduled to leave for Douala.
Unfortunately, this flight was also busy and passengers were unable to board. After learning that they could not board the plane, at around 07:00 this morning, some of the stranded passengers decided to block access to concourse B of Brussels Airport.
All the flight crews are now being removed from the terminal. I’ve never seen anything like it. @BrusselsAirport pic.twitter.com/UxsUDw6eKu— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) December 8, 2022
This protest stopped the flow of passengers towards many departure gates, especially for long-distance flights outside of the Schengen area, causing major disruptions. While the airline battled to find a resolution to the problem, the airport was forced to set up shuttle buses to ferry passengers to their boarding gates.
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At the time of publication, the stranded passengers are still preventing other passengers from reaching their aircraft, with many taking to social media to appeal for the police to intervene.
All flights crews have been removed from the terminal, according to American political consultant for the Republican Party, Frank Luntz, who happened to be at the airport at the time of the protest.