Here’s a note to anyone who’s ever had their dinner (or any other point in their flight) disturbed by an inconsiderate, recliner-happy neighbor: slapping, and then getting into a fist fight with them is probably not an appropriate response.
Take it from the two men who forced a pilot’s hand this past Sunday on a Swiss Airlines flight from Zurich to Beijing. The airbus, carrying some-200 passengers, was apparently already en route when one reportedly drunk 57-year-old man had his dinner interrupted by his front seat mate and decided to resolve the issue himself. After having his meal jostled, and after reportedly voicing several unheeded verbal complaints, the older man allegedly hit the 27-year-old on the head with the “flat of his hand,” resulting in the two men “rolling around in the aisles and needing to be physically separated.”
Immediately following the not-so-minor altercation, the older man spent he rest of the flight with his hands secured with plastic strips and “screaming incessantly,” while the pilot decided to just turn the whole plane around and fly back to Zurich — which might seem a tad extreme but was apparently done in order “to avoid administrative problems.”
To make up for the inconvenience, the rest of passengers received a complementary stay in Zurich for the night, courtesy of the airline, while the manly men were detained and forced to pay legal fees, with the added possibility of incurring more to cover the costs of the pilot’s extra return trip.
Overall though, it would seem as though at least three people on that flight could use a little lesson in conflict resolution, but again, this is all just hearsay. Maybe the elder man just flicked the younger one in the ear. Maybe the younger man was deaf and couldn’t hear the elder. Or maybe, just maybe, the younger man got what was coming to him, for trying to take a nap and getting in between a man and his meal.
What a jerk.