Couple removed from Indonesian airline Citilink's flight for hitting flight attendant

MEDAN (THE JAKARTA POST/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Indonesian airport officials removed a married couple from a Citilink flight on Monday (Sept 4) after they hit a female flight attendant and caused a one-hour delay of the plane's departure.

The incident occurred aboard the Indonesian low-cost airline's flight QG 0837 departing on Monday morning for Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport from Kualanamu International Airport in Medan, North Sumatra.

Joko Irawan, who was also a passenger on the Citilink flight, told journalists that the couple, Rimon Sianipar and his wife Nursyda Sihombing, became angry when they were asked by a female flight attendant to check in their luggage instead of taking them onboard as carry-on luggage.

"They quarrelled about the luggage. The two passengers did not want their belongings in the baggage hold. They then hit the female flight attendant," he said.

Joko said the flight attendant reported the incident to the pilot, who asked airport officers to immediately remove the two passengers from the aircraft. The couple refused to leave the aircraft, however, causing the flight to be delayed and other passengers to protest their improper behaviour.

"All the passengers were fed up with the couple's misbehaviour. They finally agreed to leave the aircraft," he added.

The aircraft took off at 10.30am local time, one hour later than its scheduled departure of 9.35 am.

"Their tickets were refunded. They were not allowed to fly with Citilink," said Kualanamu airport's communications and legal manager Wisnu Budi Setianto.