Police officers boarded the plane at just after 8am this morning shortly before the flight was due to take off for Belfast. In a statement, easyJet said the officers had been called “due to a passenger behaving disruptively.”

Witnesses said the incident stemmed from a row about the number of items of hand luggage which could be taken on board.

Fellow passenger Lesa Kearney, 38, told NBC News that the suspect had argued with staff at the gate but had been allowed to board the Airbus A320. “He became more abusive at the back of the plane and refused to get off,” she said.

Niall Copeland, 29, from Hampshire, said police approached the angry passenger “calmly and asked him to step off the flight.” However, the man then “started shouting and demanding why his ‘man purse’ had caused a problem.”

Mr Copeland added: “The Taser was then pulled and he was told he would be Tasered if he did not co-operate. He had been very loud and aggressive by this point.”

Sussex Police confirmed that a man had been tasered and was in custody after being arrested on suspicion of causing a breach of the peace.

Witness statements were taken from passengers and crew on Flight EZY831, which was delayed by almost three hours.