An airport worker has punched an easyJet passenger who was holding his baby at the terminal following a grueling 13-hour delay, witnesses have said.
A photo circulating online appears to show the man, believed to be a special assistance provider at Nice Airport, attacking the father in full view of other passengers.
Witness Arabella Ark, who was with her children at the time, told MailOnline of the chaos that unfolded as families waited to board flight EZY2122 from Nice to London Luton.
She said: ‘Everyone was having the most appalling day and then, all of a sudden, a man holding a baby gets whacked.’
Mrs Ark said the man’ was holding his nine-month-old baby while his wife vented their frustration at the lack of baby food and seats to airport employees.
She said the alleged attacker, wearing a white shirt and black trousers, repeatedly smiled at the family before lunging at the father.
‘He said nothing, smirked, showed no interest or concern for the family,’ she recalled.
‘Then out of nowhere, he just whacked him. My husband, who’s 64, had to pull the man off him and hold him against a glass door. Everyone was appalled.
‘The man had a great big mark on his eye when he finally got on the plane and everyone applauded him.’
An easyJet spokesperson said the airport employee does not work for the airline.
He is believed to work for French company Samsic which is contracted by Nice Airport to provide employees who help disabled passengers, including those in wheelchairs.
EasyJet said the flight was delayed due to a ‘technical issue with the aircraft’ and that a replacement jet and crew were being sent from London Gatwick.
But Mrs Ark claims their day from hell began when the plane they were in pulled away while a piece of equipment was still attached.
She said the passengers were offered a four euro voucher for food before being taken back into the terminal where their wait began.
‘It was utter chaos at the terminal,’ she said. ‘There were bags all over the place, everyone was frustrated and we had no idea what was going on.
‘Children were crying, they were exhausted, people were having to stand up for hours. I asked to speak to someone but they said no one was available.’