Is civility in the air just too much to ask?
The latest case of air rage — a seemingly growing genre of conflict — came Thursday when a Thai AirAsia flight bound for Nanjing, China was forced to return to Bangkok after an unruly passenger threw scalding hot water on a flight attendant, the Associated Press reported.
A Chinese woman and her boyfriend reportedly got into a dispute with flight attendants when they discovered that they were not seated together on the plane because the large group they were a part of were assigned seats in alphabetical order. Flight attendants resolved that problem and found the couple seats together.
But later in the flight, the woman asked for hot water for the instant noodles she bought on the plane, Chinese blog the Nanfang Insider reported. When the attendant brought the water, the woman threw it in her face. According to the AP, the woman’s boyfriend also stood up in the cabin and threatened to bomb the plane.
“An unidentified female passenger assaulted the flight attendant with the hot liquid after becoming dissatisfied with the service,” the budget airline said in a statement. “The captain of the flight decided to return the plane to Don Mueang Airport deeming her actions as endangering to other passengers and impeding in-flight service.”
There was no mention of the bomb threat in the airline’s statement, according to the AP.
The flight attendant was given first aid when the plane returned to Bangkok, and she was not seriously injured.
The unruly passenger and the crew reached an “amicable conclusion” to the dispute after they were taken to the police station, according to the Bangkok Post. The ejected passengers — the woman and three other people — were permitted to board another flight out of Thailand on Friday, according to OneIndia.
The Nanfang Insider posted photos of the chaos aboard the plane and reported that witnesses said the woman also threatened to kill herself. Other passengers intervened, and Bangkok police eventually boarded the plane to escort them off.
In 2013, China’s National Tourism agency released a 64-page illustrated guide for how citizens should behave when they travel abroad. The guide recommended things like avoiding nose picking in public, snapping at people, and peeing in pools, according to Agence France-Presse.
But mid-air mishaps are happening all over the world. This year alone, two U.S. flights were diverted by passengers fighting over the right to recline and the ever-shrinking legroom on many airplanes.
A Canadian flight was diverted, and two women arrested for drinking, smoking and brawling in the plane’s bathroom earlier this year.
And this week, a Korean airline executive lost her job after throwing nuts at a flight attendant because she was unhappy with the way the nuts were being served to her.
[This post has been updated.]