Aviation

Disruptive passenger forces Qantas London flight to turn back

A Qantas flight travelling to London was forced to turn back to Perth after just two hours due to a disruptive passenger on Saturday evening.

Passengers onboard the flight are praising the crew for the way they handled the situation.

Clare Hudson, a passenger travelling with her husband and three-month-old baby, told the ABC the disruptive man locked himself in the plane’s bathroom for about 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,” she said.

“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.”

Another passenger, Christine Kohli, told the ABC the cabin crew asked passengers for help to try and calm the man.

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

“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 man back off the plane once it landed in Perth, and officers confirmed a 32-year-old man was removed from the flight.

The extra flying time pushed the crew members over their duty limits, forcing Qantas to reschedule the flight.

The airline provided passengers with overnight accommodation and left Perth about 17 hours after their initial departure time.

“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,” Kohli said.

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