Absurd Fight Breaks Out On Thai Smile Flight

Absurd Fight Breaks Out On Thai Smile Flight

38

A fight broke out on a Thai Smile flight earlier this week. I’m not sure what’s more ridiculous — the reason for the fight, or the fact that the plane proceeded to take off without offloading anyone.

Pre-takeoff fight on Thai Smile flight from Bangkok

This incident happened on Monday, December 26, 2022, on a Thai Smile flight from Bangkok, Thailand (BKK), to Kolkata, India (CCU). The flight was operated by an Airbus A320 with the registration code HS-TXT. For those not familiar, Thai Smile is a leisure airline that’s a subsidiary of Thai Airways.

In the roughly 50-second video posted online, you can see one man standing up from his seat, with a crew member standing near him. Then several more passengers, as well as another crew member, approach as well.

I’m not sure what exactly is being said, but suddenly the passengers gang up on the one guy, and start to beat him up. I know this flight was on December 26, but I think they were taking the whole “Boxing Day” thing a little too literally.

Based on the video, there’s not much context. Fortunately we now know the backstory, and it’s stranger than I could have imagined.

What’s the backstory for this fight on Thai Smile?

So, what caused this fight on Thai Smile? According to NDTV, here’s what the airline states happened:

  • Prior to takeoff, a passenger was refusing to put his seat in the upright position; the man allegedly claimed he had a backache
  • The crew explained the safety rationale for why his seat needed to be placed upright, and explained that the captain would need to get involved if he didn’t follow instructions, as the plane would have to return to the gate
  • At this point other passengers became frustrated by this man’s antics and the risk of having to return to the gate, and took matters into their own hands, yelling at him and hitting him
  • Once the violence stopped, passengers took their seats, and the flight took off for India, where it landed 2hr24min later
  • The airline claims no passengers suffered any serious injuries; the passengers involved in the incident weren’t served any alcoholic drinks on the flight, and there were no other disturbances during the flight
  • The two passengers who were spotted taking videos of the assault were requested to delete them (though clearly they either didn’t follow those instructions, or others took video as well)

There’s quite a bit to unpack here:

  • Some people are so self-centered and delusional — I’m sorry you’re having back pain, but that doesn’t mean you can violate the safety regulations that are in place all around the globe; what a jerk
  • As it turns out, the people trying to beat up their fellow passenger were just trying to be good samaritans and were trying to help the flight get underway, or something
  • Maybe I’m just too American here, but I find it shocking that a flight would take off after there’s this level of disobedience to crew instructions and violence on the ground; if a passenger repeatedly refuses to follow crew member instructions, and if a physical fight breaks out on the ground, what makes the crew think this wouldn’t happen once airborne?

Bottom line

A passenger on a Thai Smile flight refused to put his seat upright for takeoff, claiming he had back pain. Despite the crew insisting, he refused to follow instructions. Other passengers then rallied to “support” the crew by… beating up the man.

Apparently that did the trick, as the traveler then cooperated, and the flight could take off as planned. There’s so much about this story that’s so strange…

What do you make of this Thai Smile incident?

Conversations (38)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Paul Guest

    Well, this is what happens when you behave as a spoiled child instead of a grown man.
    We all suffer pain in one way or another, take a pill and grow up.

  2. Kaleb_With_A_K Gold

    India is gonna India.

  3. Marina Kirchens Guest

    Please let's stick to stories abt USians and Germans. both pretty much the same.

  4. TheTruthIs Guest

    The passengers are Indian, Jake. Not, Thai.

  5. Antonio Guest

    Don’t see the problem here. Flight attendants had an issue, other passengers helped to sort it, plane took off on time, nobody got offloaded.

  6. Jared Guest

    I guess it's either this or go around shooting civilians, like the (yet another) recent shooting incident at the Mall of America.

  7. snoty Guest

    From what I generally observed, flight between Bangkok and several cities India tends to have quite a number of passengers that like to push the limit on what can be requested. I am not surprise that this incident occurs.

    Another perspective as a Thai, I am not surprise on the actions that the crews have taken. Generally, Thai people likes to save face (i.e. avoid bad press at all costs), tends to be forgiving and...

    From what I generally observed, flight between Bangkok and several cities India tends to have quite a number of passengers that like to push the limit on what can be requested. I am not surprise that this incident occurs.

    Another perspective as a Thai, I am not surprise on the actions that the crews have taken. Generally, Thai people likes to save face (i.e. avoid bad press at all costs), tends to be forgiving and relaxed when it comes to enforcement of the rule (i.e. small offense would likely be looked over), and they like to get things going if possible due to the fact that these flights are direct-turn with the same crews and they don't want to timed out.

    As I also used to live in the States, I would say that both approaches have their pros and cons. It is just the cultural differences when it comes to dealing with disobeying passenger.

  8. Kent Guest

    Ben - in the US, cops are called for pretty much anything. In the East, people work things out differently. Cops are only a last resort. I think we are pretty much familiar by now of your lack of understanding of cultures outside the US and some parts of Europe.

    Having lived in Asia for a long time, I find it ridiculous how people are unable to resolve conflict in the US without help from the authorities.

  9. asprino Guest

    Sounds like everyone wins to me!

    Pax gotten beat up - go home without going to jail

    Othet pax - go home as scheduled

    Airline - no expensive irrops

    We all - got entertained for 3 mins

  10. iamhere Guest

    I think you are reading too much into the situation because you are used to the type of incidents that happen on Western based airlines. In this situation it seems the man actually put his seat up and there were no problems. The problem is in Western situations it usually escolates from there.

  11. JetSetFly Guest

    Nothing like slapping on face/ head cures a back pain! M

  12. Brianair Guest

    Pretty sure there were a lot of smiles on this flight.

  13. Indians at it again! Guest

    Indians love to argue & Fight on Planes going back to India. they do not do that in Foreign countries because (a) Deportation,(most are Illegally there), (b) Jails with no bribes, (c) They know nothing will happen to them in India. So All that anger comes out on Planes heading back home.

    1. DCharlie Guest

      Don't kid yourself. Literally sounds like the US to me. The only difference is that only high wealth crooks get away with it in the US. I have never observed an incident on flights within or to India, but thanks for your opinion.

  14. Gotup Guest

    There is more to this than meets the eye. A group of thugs slapping a guy in front of his mother, because he is refusing to put his seat up - is definitely not the full story. The guy getting the slap does not seem the aggressive guy.

  15. yepnope Guest

    this is pretty funny. so after this everyone's like ok back to your seats let's get on our way. LOL.

  16. DT Guest

    Well, now I guess he DOES have a backache!

  17. Brian L. Guest

    This self-important jackass deserved what he got, and a whole lot more IMO.

  18. Tony Guest

    Why are fights more frequent on discount airlines' flights? Perhaps this should be another reason to avoid such airlines.

  19. RJ Guest

    Mr. Legalize All Drugs, I think this is everybody's business. It may be news to you at the bottom of the well where you live, but people from one part of the world do travel in planes in other parts of the world. Unless you are the guy with the backache in the plane, in which case I have nothing to say.

  20. Icarus Guest

    Believe me, India also has a lot of Karen and Kens.

    The passenger concerned, who refused to comply with crew instructions, will probably file a claim for harassment and racism

    @legalize all drugs this is my territory !

    1. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

      So you’re an Indian using anti white slurs (“Karen”)? Back to the diversity and equity training camp please.

  21. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

    Ben you can judge US and German cultural incidents. But this is well outside your territory. Please as they say, stay in your lane. Mind your own business.

    1. atcsundevil Guest

      Well I think we know who gets the award for dumbest comment of the day. It's not acceptable anywhere to beat someone in public, nor is it acceptable to demand that someone "stay in their lane" for coming to a pretty well-formed conclusion. Just go back to doing drugs, dude.

      That said, I'm not sure I'd really call this a fight. Quite a lot of slapping going on. Still not acceptable, but it borders...

      Well I think we know who gets the award for dumbest comment of the day. It's not acceptable anywhere to beat someone in public, nor is it acceptable to demand that someone "stay in their lane" for coming to a pretty well-formed conclusion. Just go back to doing drugs, dude.

      That said, I'm not sure I'd really call this a fight. Quite a lot of slapping going on. Still not acceptable, but it borders the hilarity of watching an abuela beat her grown son with her chancla.

    2. Engel New Member

      The man standing throws at least four rights to the man that would not straighten his seat.

    3. First Place in Dumb Comments Guest

      If your culture allows any of this, it's backwards. Doesn't matter where in the world it is.

    4. DCharlie Guest

      @First Place in Dumb Comments - Hope you're not an American, cause you literally offended every single white man in the US.

    5. Bob Guest

      Isn't that what all countries screech about at the United States. Mind your own business until they need aid then it's why hasn't the United States given us free money and services immediately.

    6. FED Up Guest

      Shame on Thai Smile and LAD with his ridiculous comments. The flight should have stayed put, and all of those involved off loaded. Then they should have called up as many airlines and put them all on the no fly list, they could have gone overland to India. Ben is correct, this flight would have never left the ground with this bunch on board.

  22. ercadm Guest

    Bottom line is they weren't American and as a result the flight continued and the police weren't brought on to drag people off the plane.

    1. Skdxb Member

      But they have learned this from the Americans

    2. Icarus Guest

      Not really. Stupidity everywhere. Sadly. Trump and his lot just made it worse.

  23. pstm91 Diamond

    This is Thai Smiles marketing video announcing their new partnership with Spirit Airlines.

  24. Jim Guest

    Putting the "pressure" in "peer pressure"

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

TheBestBlackBrent Gold

Indians gonna India

5
LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

Ben you can judge US and German cultural incidents. But this is well outside your territory. Please as they say, stay in your lane. Mind your own business.

5
pstm91 Diamond

This is Thai Smiles marketing video announcing their new partnership with Spirit Airlines.

4
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,988,713 Miles Traveled

29,627,500 Words Written

32,815 Posts Published