A business-class passenger was fined VND15 million (US$700) for slapping a flight attendant during a domestic Vietnam Airlines flight last week, authorities said Wednesday.
The incident happened at 8 p.m. on Aug. 13 when the plane arrived in Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City after a flight from Hanoi, according to a report by the Southern Airports Authority.
When the plane was taxiing, the passenger, identified as Mai Thanh B., 46, told flight attendant Chu Thi Tho that he had lost an iPhone 6 Plus.
He said he had left it on the table before dozing off during the flight. He woke up when the plane was landing and saw his table had already been folded, and his phone gone, B. said.
When Tho told him that she had folded the table but had not seen his phone, B. slapped Tho in her face.
Other flight attendants later found the phone under the seat in front of B's.
According to a report on the Phu Nu news website, the flight attendant said she could smell alcohol on B.'s breath.
She said she had worked in business class for more than 10 years but never seen such a "brutal passenger."
The report quoted B. as saying that he had drunk before boarding the flight "but not so much as to lose control of myself."
He said he slapped the flight attendant because he suspected that she had stolen the phone.