An airline passenger has been arrested for allegedly raping a woman in business class.
The Brit allegedly forced her to have sex while others slept on the flight from Newark, New Jersey, to London.
His alleged victim complained to United Airlines cabin crew who called ahead to report the allegations to the police.
The met officers boarded the jet at Heathrow Terminal 2 at 6.30am on Monday last week.
The 40-year-old man, suspected of rape, was arrested and taken off the plane.
He was taken into custody at Heathrow Police Station, where his dabs, mugshot and a DNA saliva sample were taken.
Officers have carried out a full forensic search of the luxury cabin for which passengers pay £3,000 for a return flight.
The man was later released under investigation pending further investigation.
The woman, also 40 and British, was taken to a rape counseling suite and questioned by specialist officers.
A Met Police spokesperson confirmed the arrest and investigation.
It is understood the couple were in separate rows in business class, also called first class by United, but had previously chatted and drank in a lounge.
A source said: “The woman said she was raped by the passenger during the flight while others slept.
“She was upset and reported it to the cabin crew who radioed the police, who were waiting for the plane to land.
“The parties apparently did not know each other before, but had apparently been seen talking and drinking before and during the flight.
“She alleged that he then raped her and was reportedly very upset.
“Police took this very seriously and forensic pathologists carried out a thorough examination of the area of the plane where it allegedly took place.
“Officers boarded the plane and arrested the man before taking him away.”
Sexual assaults on airplanes are rare but are believed to be on the rise in the United States.