From Urinating Men To Shirtless Brawls: How In-flight Chaos Are Making Headlines Of Late

The unfortunate and shocking mid-flight instances have raised a demand to check unruly behavior on flight. Many internet users have also questioned the wisdom behind serving alcohol on international flights.

Air India flight

After about two years of Covid-19 pandemic-induced restrictions on domestic and international flights, air travel has now resumed its normal course. However, several mid-flight instances in the past few months have shocked travelers, crew members, and the public at large.

Domestic airlines have made headlines over mechanical faults, inappropriate behavior by passengers, mishandling of passengers; etc. Currently, two Air India flights are under scrutiny over incidents involving drunk passengers.

After news of a November 26 New York-Delhi Air India flight passenger peeing on an elderly woman and flashing his genitals went viral, a number of similar new and old instances were reported and dug out.

The crew members of the New York-Delhi flight, on which a drunk man urinated on an elderly co-passenger and flashed his genitals, were de-rostered. In another Air India Paris-Delhi flight, a drunk passenger urinated on the vacant seat and blanket of a woman passenger.

Considering the frequency of such incidents, people have questioned the wisdom of serving alcohol on international flights, claiming it to be a major cause of most such incidents. 

Here are some of the most appalling incidents in flights in recent time. 

Urinating incidents on flights

Barely after a week of the November 26 incident on a New York-Delhi Air India flight, another episode of a "drunk" male passenger allegedly urinating on the blanket of a female passenger on December 6 came to light. The incident surfaced on the Paris-Delhi sector. However, no penal action was pressed after the passenger gave a written apology, officials told the media.

The matter was reported to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport by the pilot upon which the male passenger was apprehended. After landing around 9:40 am at Delhi, the airport security was informed that the male passenger was "under the influence of alcohol and he was not following the instructions of the cabin crew and he later peed on a blanket of an onboard lady passenger", airport officials told news agency PTI.

The male passenger was soon taken by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) as he deboarded the plane. He was later allowed to leave after a "mutual compromise" between the two passengers and the accused tendered a "written apology".

Inappropriate touching of a child

On September 5, a drunken man allegedly tried to touch an eight-year-old girl inappropriately on an Air India flight. The airline said that the incident took place on a Mumbai-London flight. It added that the passenger was later handed over to the Metropolitan Police.

The incident also necessitated the use of a restraining device, Air India had later said, as per media reports.

Stone in food

An Air India female passenger found a piece of stone in her flight meal on January 8 when was travelling from Delhi to Kathmandu.

Tagging Air India, the female passenger in her tweet complained of finding a stone in her in-flight meal onboard AI 215 and also shared pictures of the stone. The airline took cognizance of the instance and said it will initiate strict action against the caterer. 

The shirtless brawl

In a viral video, a shirtless man was seen fighting with a co-passenger on board a Boeing 777 operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines. The widely-circulated video shows the shirtless man, seeming to be crying, engaged in a verbal argument with a co-passenger who could not be identified.

The man is seen holding the other passenger's collar and punching him. The co-passenger punched back in response as other passengers tried to separate thet two men.

Go First flight leaves passengers behind

Go First Airways flight G8 116 on Monday morning took off for Delhi from Bengaluru's Kempegowda International airport at 6.30 am and left behind 55 passengers.

The passengers were left behind in a bus meant to deliver them to the plane for boarding. The flight forgot to on-board the passengers in a shuttle on the tarmac. Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has sent notice to the airline for "multiple mistakes". Apologising for the "inadvertent oversight", the airline has offered a free ticket to each of the 55 forgotten passengers.

Passengers who fought on Thai Smile flight to face police complaint

Another mid-air scuffle happened on a December 26 Thai Smile Airways flight from Bangkok to Kolkata after one of the passengers declined to adjust his reclined seat citing backache. He was asked to put the seat in upright position as part of the standard safety procedure during take-off.

A slugfest soon ensued after other passengers took objection to the passenger’s uncooperative attitude. The ugly fight reached the notice of the Indian authorities, who after initially saying that the case is out of their jurisdiction, have now filed a complaint against those involved.

In a tweet, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia confirmed that a complaint has been filed against those involved in the slapping and boxing match on a flight.

Thai Smile Airways has submitted the flight disturbance incident report of a fight on the flight on December 26 to the Indian Aviation Authority of India and said that passenger 37C refused to follow safety rules, ANI reported. The Thai Airways has also submitted a report of flight disturbance to the Aviation Authority of India (AAI) citing that passenger seated in 37C (the man being beaten up in a dark blue shirt) refused to follow safety procedures.


'Not Your Servant': The flight attendant-passenger argument

An Indigo air hostess on December 16 flight from Delhi to Istanbul retorted to a passenger with "I am an employee, not your servant”.

In a nearly one-minute video which soon went viral on social media platforms, the air hostess can be seen telling a passenger that there is a food cart with counted meals and that the cabin crew can only serve what he has ordered. The Indigo crew member further alleged that her cabin crew was crying due to the passenger’s rude and unacceptable behaviour. Upon being asked by the passenger why she is "yelling" at him, the woman replied, “Because you are yelling on us. I am so sorry sir, you cannot talk to the crew like that (sic).”


In response to the viral news headliner video, Indigo said that the matter was related to meals chosen by the passenger via a codeshare connection.