In the world of aviation, there are often incidents of unruly behavior by passengers. Sometimes, passengers act unruly under the influence of alcohol. In certain cases, it’s just a case of bad judgment or a lack of civic sense. One such incident occurred when a passenger refused to switch of his phone during take off.
A Qantas flight was en route when it was forced to return. The flight, which was on its way to Canberra, was forced to return to Sydney. The flight was already past 50% of its route to Canberra when the pilot had to eventually turn and head back to Sydney.
Apparently, the cause was quite frivolous. A young man refused to switch off his cell phone during takeoff. Another passenger spotted this. An argument started between the two passengers.
As soon as the plane landed back in Sydney, the police stepped in on board. As the altercation hadn’t stopped, police stepped in and eventually took both passengers off the plane.
Other passengers on board, narrated details of what exactly happened to news.com.au. Apparently, the younger passenger didn’t switch his cell phone off when the plane was taxiing for take off. The older passenger saw it and an argument ensued. A video of the incident was posted by news.com.au and can be seen here.
I was a few rows up from the two men, however I didn’t hear anything or an argument,” said the passenger, who was seated three rows in front of the altercation.
“We took off and were about halfway to Canberra when the pilot said we would be turning around and heading back to Sydney.
Another passenger narrated more details about what apparently happened.
“I heard some people say the older man threw the younger one’s phone and the air hostess got involved,” the passenger who was seated neraby said.
“The air hostess said, ‘That’s not your job that’s my job’. It all happened very quickly, there were no raised voices.
“Apparently, one guy snatched the other guy’s phone and threw it.
The Pundit’s Mantra
As much as the young man was at fault, it was the older gentleman’s reaction and the subsequent argument that caused a ruckus. If it’s indeed true that the older man threw the phone away, then it was clearly an over reaction on his part. As the flight attendant correctly pointed out, it was not his job to correct things. The older gentleman could’ve easily brought things to the attention of the in-flight staff, who would’ve taken corrective measures.
Thanks to misbehavior of two people on board, hundreds of passengers were inconvenienced. However, the silver lining was that passengers overwhelmingly agreed that Qantas had handled a difficult situation pretty well. When the police stepped on board, both passengers exited the plane with the officers without any further resistance or incident. As of today, police are yet to formally press any charges.
Have you been in a flight where you’ve seen passengers break into an argument or scuffle? If yes, how was it handled? Let us know in the comments section.