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Jetstar mulls flight ban for Aussie brawlers returning from Phuket holiday

PHUKET: Jetstar is considering imposing a flight ban on Australian tourists who engaged in a mid-air brawl while returning home from a holiday in Phuket, while the Australian National Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident.

Monday 10 October 2016, 03:05PM

Police were called to escort a man and a woman off the plane when it landed in Sydney last Wednesday afternoon (Oct 5), after they engaged in a mid-flight brawl. Photo: AFP
Police were called to escort a man and a woman off the plane when it landed in Sydney last Wednesday afternoon (Oct 5), after they engaged in a mid-flight brawl. Photo: AFP

Police were called to escort a 27-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman off the plane when it landed in Sydney last Wednesday afternoon (Oct 5) after the fight allegedly broke out between the two passengers midway through the journey from Phuket to Australia.

Finance expert Scott Haywood told Melbourne radio station 3AW he was among a group of passengers who were forced to restrain the pair, reported Australian state news agency ABC News. (See story here.)

Mr Haywood said the fight started after the woman reclined her seat back onto the man’s mother, which prompted the man to thump the woman’s chair, and then the argument became physical.

“In the area there were about 12 of us who saw it all and they were certainly laying into each other,” he told 3AW.

Mr Haywood said the incident was “distressing” but there were no serious injuries, with the two families separated in different sections of the plane, reported ABC.

“Investigations remain ongoing and as such, it would not be appropriate to comment further,” an AFP spokesman said.

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In a statement provided to several media outlets, Jetstar said it did not tolerate “disruptive behaviour” on its flights.

“We will conduct a review with a view to banning these passengers travelling with us in the future,” the airline said.

Craig Ferguson, Consul-General Phuket told The Phuket News, “This comes on the back of the Australian government’s smartraveller campaign encouraging Australians to ‘Stay Classy in the Air’.

“Through our advisories at we urge Australians to act responsibly and exercise common sense at all times. Courtesy and respect for other travellers goes with that,” he said.

To read Consul Craig Ferguson’s exclusive interview with The Phuket News explaining the ‘Stay classy in the air’ campaign, click here.



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Kurt | 12 October 2016 - 10:02:59

Flying 'cattle class' with budget airlines comes with pro's and con's. 
As simple is that. We all know that.
Is ok for short flights, BKK to Phuket, Phuket to KUL or SIN.
On such flights airlines can limit reclining facilities of the chairs from zero till max 20%. Why not?
The rows at emergency escapes are already in fixed position. No reclining at all.

On long haul flights limit reclining facility to 50%.
Well trained cabin crew will always ask the passenger to upright chair during meal service.

Chair reclining facility should be in balance with the leg space between chairs. Quite simple.

Average  length of passengers is between 170 cm and 185 cm today.
However, budget airlines sett  their aircraft seat configuration as they think  the length of passengers is becoming shorter instead of taller. Very funny.

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skip | 12 October 2016 - 01:42:48

jetstar, if you dont ban people for life who fight on your planes and drunken violent people who travel between phuket and sydney , i cannot and will not fly with your company.there are now alternatives so be warned families safety is more important than your policy. there is no consideration, DO IT !i also agree that locking the seats in the upright position is a good idea as jetstar and air asia have very tight seat spaces.

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slippery snake | 10 October 2016 - 18:26:21

Seems the woman did nothing wrong, but I will admit if your seat is upright and the person in front reclines their seat fully, it is annoying and pretty much right in your face, so the answer would be to make the seats so they can only be reclined half way back or cancel all but the "classy Aussies" from flying..  haha   Jetstar would go broke...........

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Andy | 10 October 2016 - 18:06:07

It is very annoying when, say, as soon as the seat belt lights go off the passenger in front reclines their seat but unless meals are being served they are perfectly entitled to do so. It seems to me the guy started this and if he 'thumped' the seat in front hard enough it is an assault.
Airlines should do as easyJet did many years ago and fix the seats upright. Reclining economy seats cause nothing but problems now the seat pitch is so small, if the person in front reclines their seat you have little choice but to recline your own so you have some personal space and room to read so this dominoes through the cabin - daft, bolt the damn seats upright. 

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Sue Yu2 | 10 October 2016 - 16:04:14

The phrase 'Classy Australian' is a classic antonym.

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