Passengers restrain ‘unwell man’

Passengers on board a Qantas plane were asked to help restrain a disruptive passenger on a flight from Perth to London on Saturday night.

Qantas’ zero tolerance approach to disruptive behaviour on board its flights made the captain’s choice to turn the plane around two hours after take-off an easy one.

Passengers on board the flight have praised Qantas, its crew and other passengers for the way they handled the situation.

Clare Hudson, a young mother travelling with her partner and three-year-old baby told the ABC that a man became extremely agitated and locked himself in one of the bathrooms for an hour.

“Then when he came out, first of all, we heard some shouting; we were about three or four rows in front of where it happened,” said Ms Hudson.

“Then he was squaring off against another passenger and sort of shouting in his face. It looked like it was going to turn into a brawl. Eventually, they managed to calm him down and get him back in his seat. He seemed really wired and agitated.”

Cabin crew had to ask passengers for help to calm the man.

“Some passengers went and helped him. I understand he was restrained down the back of the plane,” said passenger Christine Kohli.

“I think it was scary for quite a few people. One of the passengers I was with became quite agitated and quite upset, but I think the aircrew were marvellous; they were very in control of the situation. They were calming passengers.

“They were very, very supportive. They got him down to the back of the plane quite quickly. It was clear he was quite an unwell man.”

The Australian Federal Police escorted the 32-year-old man off the plane once it landed. The extra time taken to turn the plane around meant the crew would have been over their duty limits on the 17-hour non-stop flight, so Qantas gave passengers accommodation for the night and had them back in the air 17 hours after the incident.

“I’ve lost a day, but at the end of the day, Qantas have been marvellous. The fact that they made a very difficult decision to turn that plane around and inconvenience a lot of people … I’m grateful for the professionalism and the fact that they put our safety first,” said Ms Kohli.

Have you ever experienced a ‘disruptive passenger’ onboard one of your flights? What was the most disruptive thing to happen on one of your flights?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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