Jeremy Clarkson says he was prevented from getting on plane
Ex-‘Top Gear’ host claims ‘Argentinian’ airport worker swore at him in Falklands row
Former ‘Top Gear’ host Jeremy Clarkson has claimed an ‘Argentinian’ airport worker stopped him from getting on a flight in an alleged row over the Falklands. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire
The spokesman was responding after former Top Gear star Clarkson said that an “Argentinian” airport worker deliberately stopped him from boarding a flight in an alleged row over the Falklands.
Mr Clarkson (56) claimed he and his team were barred from getting on a BA flight to Heathrow in Stuttgart, Germany, by Manuel Pereira, claiming the airport worker told him at the departure gate: “I’m from Argentina, so f*** you.”
A Stuttgart Airport spokesman said the incident would be investigated with staff, adding that Mr Pereira is “Spanish, not Argentinian”.
A statement read: “The ground services for the mentioned flight were operated by our partner, S Stuttgart Ground Services.
“In this case, Mr Clarkson and his team missed several calls in the lounge while the other passengers have been already boarded.
“Due to airline policy, after a certain time of absence the luggage will be removed from the aircraft and the missing passengers will be withdrawn from the passenger list.
“From this point there is no chance for boarding, even if the passengers show up.
“Nevertheless, the personal behaviour of the staff member described in the article does not conform to our approach on customer service at Stuttgart Airport.
“S Stuttgart Ground Services will investigate the event with its staff. We do already know that the employee mentioned is Spanish, not Argentinian.”
‘Polite and professional’
Mr Pereira told The Sun he is Spanish and denied swearing at Mr Clarkson, adding: “I would never say such a thing. I wasn’t rude. I was polite and professional.”
They had been driving around the South American country in a Porsche with the registration number H982 FKL, which some locals suggested could refer to the Falklands conflict of 1982.
Mr Clarkson told The Sun that the comments at the airport were heard by Mr Hammond and a producer on the trio’s new Amazon show, The Grand Tour.
He said Mr Pereira tried to claim the team was too drunk to board the aircraft.
He told the newspaper: “The police said it was a hate crime and he would be arrested. Yes, even the Germans were 100 per cent on our side - for once.”
Mr Clarkson went on to tell the paper the team got an easyJet flight back to Gatwick, arriving in the UK before their original flight, which had subsequently been delayed.
The TV presenter mentioned his easyJet flight in a tweet on Monday, writing: “Credit where credit is due. easyJet first class service from Stuttgart this evening. Hannah especially.”