BackStories » Vietnam » Flight Ban for Passengers Who Assaulted Vietnam Airlines Employee at Hanoi Airport

Vietnamese police and aviation authorities have imposed flight bans on two men who assaulted a Vietnam Airlines employee earlier this week.

According to Tuoi Tre, aviation authorties announced on October 20 that passenger Tran Duong Tung will be banned from flying for 12 months following the assault, while fellow passenger Dao Vinh Thuan also received a six-month ban for disorderly conduct. The punishment will apply to all local and international airlines that have flights to and from Vietnam.

On October 18, passengers Tung and Thuan, the latter of whom is an official from Hanoi’s Department of Transport, arrived at Noi Bai International Airport for Vietnam Airlines flight VN7265 bound for Saigon, Zing reports.

The duo checked in for the 1:55pm flight at 1:10pm, passed through security and waited at the incorrect gate. Forty minutes later, when Tung and Thuan attempted to board the correct flight, they were refused entry as the boarding time had already passed.

Upset after missing their flight, the pair returned to Vietnam Airlines’ customer service desk and complained to Nguyen Le Quynh Anh, who was just finishing up her shift. Tung and Thuan were reportedly loud and aggressive while lodging their complaint. When Quynh Anh used her mobile phone to record the two men’s complaint in order to report to her superiors, Tung and Thuan became violent.

In surveillance footage of the incident, Thuan can be seen grabbing Quynh Anh’s shirt forcefully while Tung hits her over the head with his wallet. The Vietnam Airlines employee told Tien Phong that Thuan not only grabbed her shirt but also choked her, according to Zing.

“When he was strangling me, I said ‘Let me go, I can’t breathe,’” Quynh Anh was quoted by the news outlet as saying.

Video via Zing.

Though Quynh Anh is now in good health, she is still bewildered by the incident.

“I’m staying at home,” she told Zing on October 20, two days after the incident. “I’m confused and uncomfortable.”

For its part, Vietnam Airlines has vowed to swiftly deal with the assailants. Director Lai Xuan Thanh told reporters the airline will launch an investigation into the incident, while the case is also being investigated by the Soc Son District Police.

Though Thuan and Tung have both come forward to tell their versions of the story, sympathy for the two has been nonexistent. Thuan asserts that he was actually trying to prevent Tung from striking Quynh Anh, while Tung maintains it was the fault of the Vietnam Airlines employee

“When I was being recorded, I was annoyed because I missed [some business],” he told Zing. “The incident wouldn’t have gone too far if Ms. Quynh Anh had been polite and respected my opinion.”

Most people, however, are not buying it. Doctor of Sociology Vu Hao Quang, who is affiliated with the Vietnam National University, Hanoi, is one of those people.

“I think the behavior of these two men is unacceptable and shows a low level of civility,” he told Tuoi Tre. “There is no reason to feel sorry for these two men who used such hooligan behavior, grabbed a woman’s clothes and hit her over the head.”

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat also told Tuoi Tre that the passengers’ actions were unacceptable and asked for them to be dealt with severely.

“No matter the reason, people must always comply with airport regulations to ensure aviation security and exhibit civilized behavior in a public place, especially in aviation. You cannot hit people just because of something unpleasant,” he told the news outlet.

[Photo via Zing]

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