Man Punches Flight Attendant, Allowed To Continue Flying

Filed Under: Emirates

In the US it’s pretty easy to be arrested for flying related incidents. For better or worse, frontline airline staff have a lot of latitude nowadays, and will in many cases call law enforcement on passengers for just about anything.

And then there are instances outside the US where you can’t help but shake your head… like this story.


Via the Herald Sun, a man on an Emirates flight between Dubai and Melbourne had to be cable-tied after he repeatedly punched a female flight attendant, and then tried to headbutt other flight attendants who offered him water:

Matt Naylor was on flight EK406 last night and said that the man, who was traveling with a young boy, wanted more space to lie down and became agitated when he didn’t get it.

“They managed to get him back to his seat where they got an extended seatbelt and put that around him.”

Mr Naylor said the flight attendant told him that she was punched in the face “a few times”.

“He did at one stage … try to headbutt two of the flight attendants trying to offer him water. So he was very irritated, very worked up, crying, yelling, it was quite unpleasant.”

Though perhaps the most puzzling part of the story?

The man wasn’t arrested due to personal circumstances.

“The Federal Police were called and met the plane on arrival to assess the situation. After this assessment it was agreed that the passenger would meet their connecting flight onto Auckland and did so with no issues.

He wasn’t arrested due to “personal circumstances?” Is the lesson here that you can punch a flight attendant and try to headbutt them a couple of times when they try to offer you a drink, and you won’t be arrested (assuming you’re traveling to the right country)?

I guess he should consider himself lucky that the plane was bound for Australia and not the UAE, because I feel like it may have ended differently…

  1. Sounds like the “personal circumstances” were that he had a small child with him. So I guess the lesson to be taken from this is if you want to get away with assaulting airline personnel, make sure you’re the sole caretaker of a minor and they’ll let you get on with your day, at least in Australia/NZ.

  2. Stories like this are mind blowing. How can he get away for doing this? Brings me back to the story where the woman was beyond pissed to the guy who reclined his chair. The violence from the guy should have been taken into consideration and at least the authorities should have given him something. Personal space is a BS excuse!

  3. Not arrested as he was travelling with a young boy, that would be in a distant foreign country with nobody to care for him while Daddy/brother/uncle’s locked up, I’d guess. Great for the kid and the offender but I guess we’ll have to hope karma punishes him where justice couldn’t.

  4. Or maybe the women didn’t want to press charges as she is Muslim and a man touching her, even if it’s assault, would cause her family to shun her.

    Think this is crazy it’s not.. A father was arrested in the UAE as he let his daughter drown rather than have a lifeguard save her…

  5. @Jon – such a genius and an expert you are on airline crew and the global Muslim population.

    Nowhere does it say that she is a Muslim. If anything, Emirates is known for having a highly international crew. Secondly, even if she were a Muslim, your comment is ignorant at best. Here’s a tip for you – stop reading The Onion for your daily news. That publication is meant for entertainment.

  6. Lucky why not reach out to your contact at EK and see why they allowed the man to continue on his journey.

  7. @Arun

    How very clever of you to attack the person and not his points, there is a huge problem in the muslim world with backwards ideas about honour, instead of pointing out that its inappropriate to speculate about the reasons for this incident without more details about what happened you go off attacking people like a spin doctor.

    Its not an unrealistic scenario that a female muslim FA would not press charges out of fear, I dont think thats what happened here.

  8. @John

    Dude you are speculating. Unless you are an authority on Muslim culture please stop with your wild generalizations.

    Most Americans didn’t even know where dubai was until these 3 me carriers started flying all blinged up. Suddenly everyone is an expert on their history and culture.

  9. Hey @Arun, I live in the region and it’s a real problem.. Was I speculating she was a Muslim? yes… Does it make my theory wrong, no.

    Is there an issue with “honor” for Muslim women in this region? Yes…

    The article I refer to isn’t from the onion.. It happened, it was in local press as well as international. If you’d bothered to google it then you’d realise.. Not sure your swipe at ignorance is well founded, perhaps take a moment for some introspection.

  10. I feel so bad for that boy. What a traumatic event to have to witness. Father of the year he is not.

  11. @Jon – my tone was admittedly, and regrettably, scathing and counterproductive to any cordial discussion. Kudos to you for being exposed to the region firsthand and being able to speak to it. I, on the other hand, live in the US – where each one of these incidents is extrapolated and cast over an entire population as a universal stereotype. I suppose I’m a little guilty of that myself with my ‘ignorant’ accusation.

  12. Without knowing the specifics of this or otherwise commenting on the story, I had a similar experience a few years back. I arrived late to a hotel in Australia with external corridors, and a woman entered our room while we were downstairs getting items out of the car. We called the manager, thinking we’d locked ourselves out, and it became clear the door had been locked from the inside.

    The police were eventually called and banged on the door, which caused the woman to lock herself in the bathroom. The police forced their way into the room and came down several minutes later to tell us not to worry, she was just intoxicated and they would make sure she got home safely. Her story didn’t add up, but the local aussie police were really only concerned with whether we were missing anything and getting her home. It seemed bizarre to our American sensibilities – surely barricading yourself in someone’s room at midnight merits a time out for the evening. But arguably, the American mentality is far too focused on being punitive.

  13. I think this only shows that police outside of the USA is much more reasonable and willing to find a solution instead of getting somebody in jail (or kill him if he is black)

  14. @Shanghai – I agree. I think cops in the USA should stop enforcing the law, and they should just let criminals commit crimes and get away with them. If criminals want to attack or kill cops, that’s Ok and will totally make us safer, too. Is that how this works?

  15. Well maybe you should look to some other western countries like Canada or in Northern Europe. The problem you describe does not exist there. It only exist in the USA.

  16. @Jon The father got arrested. Apparently the people who arrested them were also Muslims (the same poeple you think have backward ideas) who thought that he did something completely wrong. You just cant pick up one example (where the father was completely wrong) and generalise it on all the Muslim population that they have backward ideas about honour. You may be living in the region, but mate, spend some more time with local population.

  17. @Brian – That is right. You can ask why there is such a big difference in Crime. But going back to the airlines. The high crime rate does not justify an overreaction to airplane passengers.

  18. @Ken So a man who punch a flight attendant is a criminal? Or you mean all passengers are criminals? Or all americans are criminals until the opposite is proved?
    What I meant to say is that overreacting seems to be the standard nowadays.

  19. @Shanghai – Punching someone is assault which is a crime. And that makes the man a criminal plain and simple.

  20. @Shanghai – “The high crime rate does not justify an overreaction to airplane passengers.”

    Since when would arresting a criminal who has committed assault be an overreaction?

    “So a man who punch a flight attendant is a criminal?”


    “Or you mean all passengers are criminals?”

    All the ones who punch flight attendants are.

    “Or all americans are criminals until the opposite is proved?”

    Where on Earth did anyone say that?

    “What I meant to say is that overreacting seems to be the standard nowadays.”

    Again, please explain how arresting someone who committed assault would be an overreaction.

  21. @Ken – Thank you for explaining why there are so many criminals in the USA. Punching is not a crime in the rest of the world.

  22. @Shanghai – Where do you live where it’s perfectly legal to go around punching people in the face?

    BTW, how does what I said explain why there are so many criminals in the US? There are over 330 million people here, everyone can’t be a saint.

  23. @Ken – I did not say it is legal I only said that overreacting does not solve anything. By the way I live in Shanghai. A city with 24 million people in China.
    Well the USA is number 2 in the world with inmates (not including youngsters). 707 on 100,000 people. Just after the Seychelles with 868. The first civilized country on the list is Canada on place 130 with 118 inmates on 100,000 people. I do not know who is overreacting but these are just figures from wikipedia. It is getting more interesting when you see that the USA is number 45 on the list of crime index with around 50% while Canada is number 78 with a crime index of 38%. So what is the difference : overreacting and putting everybody in jail for minor things. So please tell me you think all police in the world should do the same as in the USA? We will have a booming economy with millions of square meters of prisons to be built.

  24. @Shanghai – You said, “Punching is not a crime in the rest of the world.”

    Not a crime = legal. So punching = legal. Which is is? You can’t have it both ways.

  25. i feel sorry for many things here but mainly for that poor crew who was not protected by either the company she works for and the Melbourne airport police force who should have take an action against him, diplomate or not you can’t just walk around hitting people and get away with it, i guess money has more value than crew these days. this is why they never had a union there so they can get away with staff like that.

  26. @Ken – Which law or laws in English speaking countries outside of the USA says that punching is a crime? Can you tell me. You don’t have to be complete 🙂

  27. @Shanghai – Oh, now it’s English speaking countries? And I love how you ignore how you contradicted yourself already. Why don’t you find where it is legal to punch someone. BTW, it is against the law to punch someone in China, but it’s rarely enforced. Civilized countries don’t just allow people to go around attacking whoever they please.

  28. @Ken Sorry to underestimate you. If you can find this laws in English, French or Chinese it is fine to me. But I don’t speak other languages so Swahili will not work for me.
    My point is (and was) overreacting against people by police officers. So if something happens in an airplane because of a problem between a passenger and the company. I think in general it is not between people as the flight attendant is not the person who makes the delay or what every problem a passenger has. Of course it is very bad behaviour to project that on the flight attendant. And I think bad language, screaming or punching are not the things you want from passengers. But I think that the police did the right think. They cool down the guy and let him go instead of handcuff him and bring him to the police station. Most countries are not waiting for more prisoners. So smaller things will be solved on spot.
    I’m afraid you see it too black and white. Crime or no crime. That black and white thinking is the reason for overreacting. I’m not a native speaker so my english is not so good. Maybe some things you did not understand. And of course you can disagree. No problem at all. I don’t think I convinced you. Neither did you.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *