After Armed Robbery, BA Crew Told “Don’t Walk In Rio”
BA now considers the security situation in Rio de Janeiro so bad it has advised crews to take taxis around the city rather than walk – even in large groups.
An armed robber demanding mobile phones and money recently menaced and robbed a BA flight crew strolling back to their Rio hotel.
Flight attendant Michael Nicholas, 45, was returning from a barbecue with 10 colleagues when the gunman appeared, London’s Sun newspaper reported.
Undeterred by the numbers he was facing, the attacker held his gun against the face of one of the crew and forced him and his son to hand over their phones and money.
Nicholas wrote on his Facebook page: “One of our crew had a gun held to his face while he and his son were robbed. Half of us were unaware anything was going on behind us until we heard the commotion. Luckily, the son gave the robber his phone and money and they left.”
While noting that, “We are all safe and well but a little shaken,” Nicholas added a disturbing message. “The local police refused to attend the hotel and BA security are on the case and dealing with this.”
A BA spokesman told the Sun: “We take the safety of our pilots and cabin crew very seriously and issue them with information and advice for all the destinations to which we fly – specifying any extra precautions that should be taken in particular cities. We will be reiterating our advice to crew operating to Rio de Janeiro, including that they should remain vigilant when outside the hotel. We will now also be advising that they book taxis when travelling around the city.”