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British Airways has banned fashion stylist Bridget Nhire on all its flights for life. This follows an incident on its Heathrow to Dubai flight, which saw Nhire getting handcuffed and strapped to her seat after which she was escorted by the police. She was freed without any charge after five hours. Ten days later, BA is reported to have refused to fly her back home, leaving her stranded at the Dubai international airport for over 11 hours.
The 5ft 3in stylist, from Uxbridge, works for fashion brand Reiss. She claimed that a scuffle broke out when a fellow passenger had a problem with her getting out of the seat repeatedly to stretch herself during the journey.
"He was telling me to sit down and I said 'I have the right to get up and walk around for my health'. That escalated into a minor argument. Then the crew asked me to move to the front. They said 'you are being aggressive, we feel you may have had a little too much to drink", Nhire said. She, however, argued that she was not drunk and that she had just "two glasses of wine" with her meal.
Referring to the treatment meted out to her, Nhire said: "They strapped me to the seat and put me in plastic cuffs. I have bruises. You cannot leave people stranded at foreign airports. Someone has messed up. BA should be held accountable." It is reported that the stylist is seeking a £350 (€443, $495) compensation for leaving her stranded, according to The Mirror.
The airline said the "rare" step to ban her was imposed after a full probe into the incident that involved statements from both passengers and crew. A BA spokeswoman said: "Our customers and crew deserve to enjoy their flights, and not suffer disruption. We would never issue a lifetime ban without first carrying out a thorough investigation."