SINGAPORE - A Jetstar flight from Singapore to Australia was delayed after police were called in to deal with an escalating dispute among three passengers over a phone.
Jetstar flight 3K161 was supposed to have departed Singapore at 11.20pm on Friday (Dec 22) and arrived in Darwin at 5.20am on Saturday.
Instead, it was delayed and departed Singapore only around 7.15am on Saturday.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, Jetstar Group spokesman Robin Goh said on Saturday that the plane returned to the gate while taxiing at Changi Airport on Friday.
The Straits Times understands that the dispute arose when an in-flight announcement was made for passengers to switch off their phones.
A 55-year-old man, believed to be Filipino-Australian, told his neighbour, a 47-year-old Australian man, that he should turn off his phone.
The pair of them, along with the 55-year-old's wife, got into a heated argument, and the cabin crew told them that they would have to alight from the plane if they did not resolve their dispute.
The police were called in when the quarrel escalated. The situation was further exacerbated when another passenger thought she heard one of the men say the word "bomb".
However, she was the only one who appeared to have heard the word. There was, in fact, no bomb.
The police told ST on Saturday that they were alerted to a case of public nuisance on board a flight departing Changi Airport at 11.26pm on Friday.
Two men, aged 47 and 55, are assisting in police investigations.
Mr Goh said three passengers were involved in a dispute on a flight and verbal threats were made.
He said meal vouchers were distributed to all passengers in view of the delay, and families with young children were given lounge access for greater comfort.
"We take safety and security seriously and we don't tolerate threats or disruptive behaviour by passengers on our flights," said Mr Goh.