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'Mutiny' On Ryanair Flight In Spain

Ryanair Boss

HAROLD HECKLE   02/ 6/11 10:06 AM ET   AP

MADRID — Spain's government says police removed more than 100 passengers from a plane preparing to leave the Canary Islands after a large scuffle broke out onboard.

La Provincia, a Spanish newspaper, said the disruption happened when low-cost Ryanair tried to charge one passenger extra for carry-on baggage and his friends aboard the plane "mutinied."

An Interior Ministry spokesman said the pilot was preparing for takeoff at Guacimeta airport on the Lanzarote island resort for Charleroi, Belgium, when she radioed for police assistance.

He said that, of the 168 passengers, only 64 were allowed to re-board Saturday's flight. The rest had to find other carriers and some spent the night on Lanzarote. He spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with ministry rules.

Ryanair confirmed the passengers "became disruptive and refused to comply with crew instructions" after a requirement to pay a gate bag fee "for outsized luggage."

The airline said in a statement that police had required the entire aircraft be offloaded and each passenger identified.

"Following further disruptive behaviour, the police required for security reasons that this entire group be refused travel," the statement said.

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Associated Press writer Raf Casert in Brussels contributed to this report.

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Filed by Kate Auletta  |