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In Flight Fights

Lynnette Thomas

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A fight broke out on a United Airlines Boeing 767 bound for Ghana from Dulles International Airport, after a seat reclining into the “personal space" of another passenger caused another bout of mile-high rage.

The fight commenced with a slap to the head, when an upset passenger objected that the reclining passenger was ‘intimately close’ to his lap. This was followed by peacemaking crew and other passengers diving around the cabin in an effort to intervene. A couple of Air Force F-16 fighter jets rushed into the night skies over Washington to accompany the plane back to Dulles airport.

William Lewis U. S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, as well as spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command said the F-16 fighters “Were just following typical procedures when you have disturbances. It's pretty commonplace whenever there's an airspace violation. " Exactly what the fighter jets were meant to achieve remains an unanswered question.

Before returning to Dulles airport, the Boeing 767 disposed of most of its 16,700 gallons of fuel to lighten its load, where the angry brawlers were arrested by Dulles Police officers.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Rob Yingling told the Washington Post that “Officers determined that the incident didn't warrant pressing charges. "

A male passenger on an American Airlines flight pulled another passenger’s ear so strongly, because he was upset about the reclining seat, that the man’s glasses fell off in November 2010. Tomislav Zelenovic was charged with one count of “assault by striking, beating, or wounding on an aircraft, " and faced a $5,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Flight attendants from Hong Kong airline are now being trained in Kung Fu, because it is becoming clear they will have to deal with more than just angry passengers.

Perhaps that is what was required by Qantas when stowaway rats were located in the emergency medical equipment, on a Boeing 767, just as the passengers were about to board.

A Qantas spokesman said following the grounding of the jet and the passengers transferred to another flight, “It is obviously not a common occurrence'’.

In April 2011 health inspectors discovered rodent droppings ‘too numerous to count’ close to a Delta Airline jet’s drink and food storage area.

Passengers were ordered off an Air Canada flight bound for London from Ottawa in February 2011, after a huge rat was found on board.

In March 2010 a colony of cockroaches was found in the first class section of American Airlines.

In June 2011 a woman passenger was told to apply for an online refund after finding her Jetstar airline meal contaminated with the larvae of a beetle. She was informed she would have to wait 5 – 10 days for a reply.


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