Mid-air brawl between Chinese passengers forces back flight

Last Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 17:47

Beijing: A mid-air brawl between two Chinese passengers onboard a Swiss International Air plane disrupted the Beijing-bound flight and forced it to return to Zurich, where the duo were arrested.

According to media reports, a 57-year-old Chinese man travelling on the flight last Sunday felt disturbed while eating his meal when the passenger in front of him , another Chinese citizen, aged 27 reclined his seat.

The elderly person who was reportedly drunk, hit the younger passenger when he did not respond to his protests.

A fight then broke out between the two, which caused one of the passengers to bleed, state-run China Daily reported.

For safety concerns, the flight, carrying about 200 passengers, turned around and landed at Zurich, six hours after it took off.

The were taken into custody by Swiss police for disrupting the flight.
The incident was part of series of such reports about Chinese passengers loosing their cool while traveling in the flights, the daily report said.

Last week, Fang Daguo, an official from Yuexiu district of Guangzhou in Guangdong province, allegedly grabbed the arm of a China Southern Airlines flight attendant and verbally abused her when she was not able to put his luggage in the overhead compartment.

Fang had reportedly drunk alcohol before boarding the plane.
Fang, heavily criticised by netizens, is being investigated by authorities.
In July, five female passengers on a Lucky Air flight got into a midair brawl resulting from disputes over reclining seats.

The five were taken away by police when the plane landed in Wuhan, Hubei province.

The series of confrontations in the aircraft involving Chinese passengers has led the public to question passengers` morality, while experts say better education and harsher punishments are needed to stop travellers from misbehaving, the Daily report said.

"Passengers tend to become very emotional over small disputes on board, such as reclining chairs or changing seats," said a cabin crew official surnamed Liu who has 10 years of experience working for a domestic airline.

Liu said if a midair brawl occurs, the flight attendants will first try to mediate between the quarrelling parties.

One reason for the problem, according to Liu, is that the punishments are sometimes too low for those who break rules.

Tian Baohua, who sits on an advisory group to the Ministry of Transport, said disputes are becoming more common, partly due to a growing number of passengers as more Chinese are able to afford flights.


First Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 17:47

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