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Abusive passenger grounds Jetstar flight

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos - SEPTEMBER 09, 2022: General generic editorial stock image of a Jetstar airplane at Sydney Domestic Airport. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar
The passenger was offloaded from the aircraft in Perth. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar

A Jetstar flight departing from Perth was forced to turn around after an unruly passenger allegedly became abusive towards crew members.

The Sydney-bound flight JQ989 left from Western Australia just before midnight on Sunday.

After the flight took off, a passenger, who appeared intoxicated, allegedly became abusive towards staff.

The captain was subsequently forced to turn the plane around to offload the passenger in Perth, where they were met by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos OCTOBER 4, 2022. Generic photo of Jetstar at MelbourneÃs Tullamarine airport .Picture: NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui
The passenger was offloaded from the aircraft in Perth. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui

Passengers on the flight were forced to spend the night in Perth as the crew had reached the limits on their operating hours.

“The safety of our crew and customers is our first priority and we do not tolerate any disruptive or abusive behaviour on our aircraft,” a Jetstar spokesperson said.

“We apologise to customers who were impacted by this disruption and thank them for their patience as our teams worked hard to provide overnight accommodation in Perth and replacement flights on Monday morning.”

BRISBANE AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos SEPTEMBER 6, 2022: A Jetstar plane leaves Brisbane Airport. Hundreds of Australians are stranded in Bali after multiple Jetstar flight cancellations leave travellers scrambling to find emergency accommodation. NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
Passengers on the flight were forced to spend the night in Perth. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

All passengers were provided with accommodation in Perth and boarded the next available Qantas flight to Sydney on Monday morning.

AFP charged the passenger, a 33-year-old man from Baldivis, with disorderly behaviour and failing to comply with safety instructions.

He is scheduled to appear at Perth Magistrates Court on Monday.

Superintendent Peter Hatch said the AFP had no tolerance for bad behaviour at airports or on board aircraft.

“Verbally abusing airline staff and failing to comply with their directions are serious offences. These matters are not something the AFP takes lightly,” he said.

“Bad behaviour on board aircrafts, and in and around airports, impacts everybody’s travel plans, including the hundreds of affected passengers onboard.”