Kiwi passenger speaks out after wrestling agitated Qantas passenger to floor during mid-flight incident

A New Zealander has spoken out about a chaotic Qantas flight after having to wrestle an out-of-control passenger to the floor.   

The incident sparked a mid-air emergency on a Qantas flight between Bali and Melbourne, which arrived early Sunday local time.   

Aucklander Matt Gibbs was coming back from a holiday with his family when an agitated passenger lashed out at the cabin crew.  

Kiwi passenger speaks out after wrestling agitated Qantas passenger to floor during mid-flight incident
Photo credit: Newshub / 9News

"All of a sudden from a couple of rows back, across the other side of the plane, I heard 'f**k you, oi oi you, I'm gonna get you, I'm going to kill you,'" Gibbs told Newshub.    

The wild tirade from the man left most passengers stunned while others like Gibbs sprang into action.   

"I jumped up and right about that time he said, 'Where's my knife!'   

"I just ran to him and then I wrapped my arms around him and we basically started wrestling... that wrestle went on for what seemed like an eternity at the time," he recalled.   

It took a number of people to pin the man down.  

"Me and another flight attendant used cable ties to tie his hands behind his back," he said.   

There was even another Kiwi who came to the rescue - an Auckland doctor.  

"He did a great job, he was constantly checking in and talking to the man on the ground to make sure he was okay as well," Gibbs told Newshub.    

With four hours in the air still to go, passengers took turns restraining the passenger for the rest of the flight.     

"There would be one of us straddling or sitting on his back and then another one would be holding his legs," he said.     

When the plane finally touched down in Melbourne, the 28-year-old was met by police before getting taken to hospital for a medical assessment.  

"We barely slowed down from landing, flew straight through to the gate and the Australian Federal Police were waiting and about five or six of them boarded the plane," he said.   

Qantas says it has zero tolerance for disruptive or threatening behaviour and the airline is now working with authorities investigating the incident.     

"The investigation will involve interviewing people who were onboard the aircraft and then the airline itself," aviation expert Keith Tonkin told Newshub.   

"If charges are warranted, they'll be made to make sure this person is made to be held accountable for their behaviour."  

Now back at home, it's been quite the eventful start to 2024 for Gibbs and his family.   

"We were up for well over 30 hours, so it's safe to say we didn't see the new year in!" Gibbs said.   

But luckily, he says the ordeal hasn't put them off flying for good.