• Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

Woman, 78, allegedly bites flight attendant’s arm during Gold Coast plane dispute

An elderly woman has allegedly bitten the arm of a flight attendant during a dispute on board a flight from New Zealand to the Gold Coast.

The 78-year-old will now face court accused of striking another passenger in the face during an argument before biting the flight attendant who intervened on January 29.

It was just one of the wild incidents Australian Federal Police dealt with over the summer school holiday period at the nine major Aussie airports it polices.

AFP charged 49 people with 69 offences, including assault, drug possession and weapon offences.

Another 24 people were handed infringement notices for intoxication, offensive and disorderly behaviour, creating a disturbance and failing to comply with directions from airline staff.

A 47-year-old man caused a flight to turn back to Sydney on January 10.

It is alleged the man was drunk from duty-free spirits and verbally abused other passengers and airline staff.

The day before, a 41-year-old man allegedly consumed 700ml of duty-free scotch on an international flight from New Zealand to Sydney and lost consciousness.

He was accused of being verbally abusive towards airline staff upon landing and AFP officers had the man taken to hospital.

A 42-year-old woman will face court after she allegedly refused to leave a flight due to her level of intoxication before takeoff from Gold Coast Airport on January 8.

AFP said police were called and officers attempted to persuade her to get off the plane bound for Melbourne but she refused and was arrested.

Video shared to social media captured the moment police forcibly removed the woman from the flight, with one officer shown physically pulling her up from her seat.

Jetstar said police were called after the passenger became “increasingly disruptive prior to departure and refused to follow crew instructions”.

“The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we have zero tolerance for disruptive behaviour,” the airline said in a statement at the time.

AFP ran a targeted operation from December 20 to January 29 after it responded to 20,000 incidents at airports last year.

“Most people do the right thing and they should not have their travel disrupted or feel unsafe because of the minority’s bad behaviour,” AFP Commander Geoff Turner said.

“We again remind the public that airports are not nightclubs. We have zero tolerance for abusive and aggressive behaviour at airports and on aircraft.

“Passengers who are convicted of an act of violence at an airport or endangering the safety of an aircraft in flight face serious penalties.”

AFP warned offenders could face up to 20 years in jail and if anyone wishes to report an incident to call AFP’s Airport Watch on 131 237.

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