Finding it difficult to control them, the pilot chose to make an unscheduled landing. The 214 passengers of the holiday jet, flying to UK from Greece Wednesday last, had almost a miraculous escape, one can say. Such was the ruckus kicked up by the two passengers.
They went wild when denied more booze on the charter plane and hit at a flight attendant with a vodka bottle.
'It was a nightmare - we all thought we had our chips,' recalled later a passenger with a shudder.
The two were earlier caught smoking in the lavatory.
They were eventually overpowered and pinned to the ground as a flight attendant cuffed their hands behind their backs.
The pilot apologised and announced that the flight would have to divert to Frankfurt in Germany, where armed police were waiting to arrest the women, aged 26 and 27.
It is understood the pair had been on a package holiday to Kos in Greece.
Runways were emptied and other planes forced to stack in the skies so the Boeing 737-900 had a clear landing run.
Armed police boarded the aircraft to take away the women.
A spokesman at Frankfurt Airport said: 'This was a most serious situation. If that door had been opened at 30,000ft probably everyone on board would have died.'
A spokeswoman for XL Airways praised the captain and his five cabin crew, saying: 'They requested these two ladies behave themselves and when the situation looked like it could get out of hand the crew responded swiftly and bravely.
'Other passengers joined in to assist and we thank them for their support. People will not tolerate this behaviour.
'The women had been caught smoking in the toilet. Everyone knows this is totally against the rules.
'They then became abusive to the cabin crew and started to disrupt the other passengers. There were no injuries.'
The two women were given a breathalyzer test at Frankfurt, but both were "legally intoxicated." They were subsequently released, police added.