Delayed flights can be frustrating, but two passengers at Changshui International Airport (KMG) in China raised the stakes considerably upon learning their departure would be behind schedule. The pair of aggressive passengers was filmed turning abusive and violently attacking gate agents soon after learning the bad news that they would be temporarily grounded.
A cell phone video obtained by The Mirror shows the irate passengers arguing with and then attacking airline workers after learning that weather conditions would keep their flight form taking off on time. By the end of the melee, several airport workers and security agents became involved in the unfortunate departure hall combat. Eyewitnesses reported that at least one of the instigators was left “bleeding and looked to have a serious head injury” by the time the dust settled.
Airport officials confirmed some details of the pre-flight brawl. In a statement, authorities said that the fight was started by two flyers who were believed to be drunk at the time. A KMG spokesperson added that the injuries suffered by one of the passengers were “of his own doing, after his head hit a solid object.”
After several similar high-profile incidents caused public outcry and embarrassment for government officials, regulators in China vowed to come down hard on the worst offenders. Officials report a marked decrease in such incidents in recent months.
In February of last year China’s Air Transport Association began cracking down on growing problems with unruly passengers. In cooperation with the country’s five largest carriers, the agency started to maintain a list of so-called “uncivilized passengers.” Out-of-control travelers now face substantial fines and air travel bans of up to a decade as result of antisocial airside behavior such as physically attacking ticket agents over weather delays.