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Fight over reclining seat forces pilot to turn plane back

A pilot was forced to turn a plane around this week when a fight broke out between two men after one reclined his chair.

The Swiss Airlines jet was en route from Zurich to Beijing carrying 200 people when a 57-year-old Chinese man became angry after a passenger sitting in front of him reclined his chair during a meal, according to Swiss-German newspaper Blick.

Reported to be drunk, the man slapped the other, another Chinese man aged 27, on the head, and a scuffle ensued as they rolled around in the aisle, shouting and swearing at each other.

The two men were separated by an air steward and a passenger and the older man’s hands were tied together with plastic strips.

The man was restrained at the back of the aircraft, screaming.

Valerie Sprenger, a tourist guide on board, said: “The older of the two felt disturbed during his dinner. When the younger did not respond to his protests, he hit him on the head with the flat of his hand. It was a real slap.”

The pilot decided to turn the plane around to land in Zurich rather than in nearby Moscow “to avoid administrative problems”.

On arrival back in Zurich, both men were arrested. The other passengers received a free night’s stay in Zurich before taking the next day’s flight to China.

The two men were ordered to pay legal costs and the airline could still seek reimbursement to cover the extra plane fuel and hotel costs. – Daily Mail

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