Passengers 'bumped' for Gordon Brown?

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is under fire after an attempt to have a heavily pregnant woman 'bumped' from business class on an international flight.

The trouble started before the British Airways flight left Oman, when passengers were told they would have to move to a lower class due to an 'overbooking problem', the Daily Mail reports.

Upon checking in, several passengers were told they would be moved from Business class to Premium Economy.

Some travellers in Premium Economy were told they would be sent further towards the back of the plane to economy, and an unlucky few would be forced off the flight altogether.


A woman, who is seven months pregnant and paid 700 pounds (Almost $1100 AUD) for her ticket, refused to budge.

Her husband was persuaded to give up the extra leg room and moved to economy.

Travellers reportedly spent the first leg of the trip, from Oman to Abu Dhabi, glaring at the six empty seats that were set to be occupied after the stopover in Abu Dhabi.

The trouble really started when two of the empty Business class seats were filled by Gordon Brown and an aide.

Passengers immediately concluded that they had been 'bumped' to make way for the former PM; a charge denied by British Airways.

The pregnant woman then walked up the aisle towards Mr Brown, and took a photo of the former PM and his aide on her mobile phone.

Gordon Brown aboard the British Airways flight. Photo: The Daily Mail
Gordon Brown aboard the British Airways flight. Photo: The Daily Mail

The aide, Kirsty McNeill, then became 'seriously aggressive' toward the pregnant woman, the Daily Mail reports.

"Why are you taking a photo of Gordon? You wouldn't like it if someone took a photo of you while you were asleep", she reportedly demanded of the pregnant woman, who does not want to be identified.

The woman responded, "I have no interest in Gordon but I have a problem with British Airways as I suspect we have all been downgraded and messed around because of his and your arrival on this plane."

Ms McNeill reportedly backed down after the pregnant woman was backed up by several other passengers.

A statement from the airline claims Mr Brown's arrival on the plane was a coincidence.

"The situation had absolutely nothing to do with Gordon Brown", the statement read, "We have apologised to [the complainant] and we have offered to pay compensation."

A statement from Gordon Brown's office reads; "As BA has made clear, the arrangements were nothing to do with Mr Brown, who had booked his flight and seats well in advance and made no requests for - nor received - any special treatment."

The woman at the centre of the claims says she does not blame Mr Brown for the incident, but is angry at British Airways for downgrading other passengers on the flight.

She has dismissed the compensation offer as 'derisory'.