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Fight forces flight to return

By Tan Zongyang  (China Daily)

08:32, September 06, 2012

2 Chinese men who brawled over Swiss Air seat taken into custody

A series of confrontations on aircraft involving Chinese passengers has led the public to question passengers' morality, while experts say better education and harsher punishments are needed to stop travelers from misbehaving.

The latest example was a midair brawl between two Chinese passengers on a Swiss International Airlines flight on Sunday, which forced the plane, bound for Beijing, to return to Zurich six hours after takeoff.

According to media reports, a 57-year-old Chinese man felt disturbed during his meal when the passenger in front of him - another Chinese citizen, aged 27 - reclined his chair.

The older man, who was reportedly drunk, hit the younger passenger when he did not respond to his protests. A fight then broke out between the two, which caused one of the passengers to bleed.

For safety concerns, the flight, carrying about 200 passengers, turned around and landed at Zurich, where police took the men into custody.

It was not the only case recently in which passengers lost control of civil norms on aircraft.

Last week, Fang Daguo, an official from Yuexiu district of Guangzhou in Guangdong province, allegedly grabbed the arm of a China Southern Airlines flight attendant and verbally abused her when she was not able to put his luggage in the overhead compartment.

Fang had reportedly drunk alcohol before boarding the plane. Fang, heavily criticized by netizens, is being investigated by authorities.

In July, five female passengers on a Lucky Air flight got into a midair brawl resulting from disputes over reclining seats. The five were taken away by police when the plane landed in Wuhan, Hubei province.

"Passengers tend to become very emotional over small disputes on board, such as reclining chairs or changing seats," said a cabin crew veteran surnamed Liu who has 10 years of experience working for a domestic airline.

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