Three allegedly drunk men sparked chaos on a flight from Brisbane to Bali, with one reportedly seen vaping in his seat.
The Virgin Australia flight, which left Brisbane on Friday afternoon, was forced to divert to Darwin, where AFP officers were called to remove three Queensland men from the plane.
Airline crew told police a 42-year-old man and two 20-year-old men had become intoxicated during the flight and were asked to move from the exit row as a result, as they would no longer be able to help in the event of an emergency.
The men initially refused to move, police allege, before eventually changing seats under the direction of the cabin crew.
After moving, the group allegedly became more disruptive, drinking duty-free alcohol they had brought on board while one of the men was allegedly seen vaping in his seat.
The pilot, fearing further escalation in the men’s behaviour, then diverted the flight to Darwin International Airport, where the men were escorted from the plane by police about 4pm.
The group were cautioned by police in the terminal and released from custody. They are expected to be fined for offensive or disorderly behaviour, consuming alcohol and smoking on board aircraft.
Passengers remaining on board were then taken to Denpasar, with the drama causing hours of delay.
Darwin Airport Commander, Superintendent Greg Davis said the AFP would not tolerate offensive and disruptive behaviour on board aircraft or inside airports across Australia.
“We know that the majority of passengers do the right thing and they should not have their travel disrupted or feel unsafe because of the bad behaviour of some individuals,” said Supt Davis.
“We again remind the public that airports are not nightclubs. We have zero tolerance for abusive and aggressive behaviour at airports and on aircraft.”
The maximum penalty for unruly behaviour on an aircraft is a $9000 fine.
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