A Qantas flight from Sydney to Canberra was forced to turn back midway through the journey after two men became embroiled in an argument over a mobile phone.
According to another passenger, the altercation started when the younger man refused to turn his phone off while flight QF1421 was still taxiing on the runway.
The unnamed witness told news.com.au that they didn’t hear a fight break out, but that word quickly spread that the older man had “snatched the other guy’s phone and threw it”.
The flight attendant allegedly got involved, saying to the older man: “That’s not your job that’s my job.”
Following the brief altercation, the pilot spoke over the tannoy to inform travellers that the plane would be turning back to Sydney and that “any passenger altercation won’t be tolerated onboard.”
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The aircraft was met by police at Sydney airport.
“Three police came in and took the two men off the plane,” according to the passenger, who also commended Qantas staff for handling the situation well and giving travellers the option to disembark at Sydney.
The two men were “very quiet” while being escorted off the plane, according to the passenger.
Neither of them was charged, confirmed the Australian Federal Police.
“AFP investigations are ongoing and no further comment can be made,” said a spokesperson.
The remaining passengers were flown to Canberra after a short delay, arriving at 4.40pm, an hour and 25 minutes after their original scheduled arrival time.
Qantas confirmed the incident had taken place but declined to comment.
It’s not the first time a flight has been diverted over a fight.
Two passengers were ejected from an easyJet flight after being “aggressive” towards crew members.
Flight EZY8905 from London Gatwick to Gibraltar was diverted to Bordeaux after an emergency was declared onboard.
Footage captured on the flight shows the moment the disruptive man and woman were escorted off the aircraft by police after landing in France, to the cheers of fellow passengers.
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