An ordinary flight from Bangkok to Kolkata became a free fall earlier this week when one of the passengers refused to follow cabin crew safety instructions. What ensued was a scuffle between passengers who Video of it has gone viral. One of the passengers on Thursday’s flight told NDTV who he thinks was to blame and shared a blow-by-blow account of how the dust build-up began.
In the footage taken by a passenger on the Thai Smile Airways flies, cabin crew and fellow passengers try to calm two standing men while they are arguing, eventually leading to beatings and attacks. The friends of the man who keeps attacking the other join the fight and it takes a flight attendant some time to separate the struggling passengers and restore order.
Alok Kumar, a passenger on that flight, spoke at length about the incident in an exclusive interview with NDTV. According to him, the disagreement began after a flight attendant asked the man in brown to keep his seat upright, as is customary at many stages of the flight, and the passenger responded “rudely to the next level”.
Two flight attendants tried to “beg” the man to follow the instructions, saying it was a safety issue, but the man ignored them. At this point, fellow travelers chimed in and urged the man to follow directions, with one reportedly asking him, “Are you traveling for the first time?”
Some passengers from the back of the plane, including the man in gray seen in the video, came to speak to the man in brown and things quickly got out of hand.
Mr Kumar said that while there were five to six men on video, only the one man who refused to follow instructions was “kind of crazy” in reference to the man being beaten.
The others were simply “provoked” by him, which is not recorded in the video. He said that the man in brown was preparing to hit the man in gray, but when the former’s friends joined in, he was unable to fight.
When the video first surfaced online, many netizens expressed their sympathy for the man in brown, who appears to be receiving relentless beatings.
In reality, Mr Kumar said the man who was beaten was the main instigator of the incident.
In response to a question saying the fight looked like a scene from a muay thai fight, Mr Kumar said the fight consisted mostly of slapping. When asked if he thought those passengers should have disembarked, he replied, “At least one guy should have disembarked, and it was that guy who got hit.”
While no more punches were exchanged for the remainder of the flight, Mr Kumar said the man in brown continued to complain and refused to follow the rules. Before the flight landed in Kolkata, he reportedly unbuckled his seat belt and was “rude to others.”