China / Society

Chinese passengers chastised for brawl on Thai flight

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-14 22:14

BEIJING - In the latest scandal to taint the image of Chinese tourists abroad, four Chinese passengers grabbed headlines for causing chaos on a Thai budget flight, forcing the aircraft to return to Thailand.

The incident occurred on Thursday night, when a couple on a China-bound AirAsia flight, coded FD 9101, had a spat with the flight crew over the seating arrangement and hot water, according to Zhang Xiao, a TV host who broke the story on microblog Sina Weibo.

The couple, who were not seated together, demanded to switch seats so they could sit together when they boarded the plane. They then requested hot water when the plane was climbing, which was served only after the plane reached cruising altitude, according to Shenzhen Satellite TV, citing a passenger surnamed Wu.

The man, already annoyed by the water delay, had another fight with the flight attendant over payment and a receipt for the hot water, Wu said.

"A flight attendant who could speak Chinese came over to explain the situation, but when she turned around, the woman poured the hot water on her back," said another passenger surnamed Zhou.

Pictures on Weibo show the flight attendant crying while covering her face. A video posted online by a passenger on the same flight shows a man screaming at flight attendants while threatening to bomb the aircraft.

After the air crew demanded an apology, the man's girlfriend climbed over the back seats, threatening to jump out of the plane, all while punching the plane windows, Wu added.

The in-flight brawl forced the plane to return to Don Mueng International Airport in Bangkok, where the couple and two other passengers involved were taken away by Thai police. They were required to pay compensation of 50,000 Thai Baht ($1,525) to the flight attendant, and all four passengers were fined a small amount of money.

AirAsia said they will not sue the passengers.

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