Thai Airways passenger wrestled by crew after 'deliberately coughing' on them

  • 12/03/2020
March 6 - Tensions boil over while waiting 7+ hours at gate (Pudong Airport - PVG -Shanghai).
Photo credit: Youtube / Fugu M

Footage of a Chinese woman being forcibly restrained by cabin crew on a Thai Airways plane is being widely shared online as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

The flight reportedly had to wait for several hours at Shanghai Pudong Airport on March 6 after a flight from Bangkok and the passenger is said to have become agitated.

The dramatic video has been shared on YouTube by Fugu M and also appears on the Newsflare website.

A spokesperson for the airline said the video, which includes a flight attendant putting the woman in a headlock, was taken after she coughed on a cabin crew member.

"Thai Airways was informed at Shanghai Airport that there were measures to screen passengers with a history of travelling from risky countries such as Italy, South Korea, Japan and Iran," Flight Lieutenant Prathana Pattanasiri, vice president of Thai's aviation safety department, told media.

''We could not open the doors of the plane until instructed to and health officials came to proceed with checks. Therefore, Thai Airways had to wait for seven hours before officials arrived at the inspection queue.

"The Chinese passenger was upset about being held for a long time and coughed at one of our staff. After she calmed down we explained the situation to her and she agreed to sit and wait for screening.''

Another passenger said the woman "began swinging her arms and deliberately coughing at one of the female members of staff", according to Newsflare.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the aviation industry. On the day of the Thai Airways flight TG664 on which the video was recorded, planes reportedly had to wait for six - 10 hours while still fully loaded with passengers.