China / Society

Travelers tossed off flight for midair ruckus

By Xin Dingding (China Daily) Updated: 2012-07-03 07:30

A passenger on an airplane has been ordered to pay 1,000 yuan ($157) in damages after a midair brawl.

The incident happened as the 18-year-old, identified by police only as Xu, traveled on a Lucky Air flight from Kunming in Yunnan province to Shenyang in Liaoning province on Saturday morning.

According to a spokeswoman for the airline on Monday, the fight started when a passenger named Liu tried to recline her seat, despite objections from Xu, who was seated behind her.

The teenager then kicked Liu's chair in anger, prompting Liu, who is in her 30s, to slap Xu in the face.

After witnessing this exchange, Xu's mother, aunt and classmate, who were all traveling with her, leapt to her defense and began to beat Liu. She sustained scratches to her body and her clothes were torn, according to police.

"Our crew tried to mediate, but failed," said Liang Weisha from the publicity department of Lucky Air, based in Yunnan.

Police at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Hubei province removed all five women from the plane when it made a scheduled stop. The captain deemed their behavior to be a risk to the flight's safety, Liang said.

Police say the offenders will need to buy new tickets to complete their journey, according to regulations.

Xu, who had been returning from a holiday in Kunming to celebrate her graduation from high school, was deemed to have started the fight and was ordered to pay damages to cover Liu's medical expenses.

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