A Vietnamese passenger has threatened to sue national carrier Vietnam Airlines after he claimed the airline security officers assaulted him on an April 18 flight.
Le Minh Khuong, a coach of the national taekwondo team, has hired a law firm to represent him.
Vietnam Airlines said Wednesday in a press release that Khuong had flown from Hanoi and was supposed to arrive at Ho Chi Minh City at 11: 45 p.m. on April 18. Due to bad weather, the plane was diverted to Da Nang Airport in the central eponymous city an hour later.
The Russian captain, Ivanov Krassimir, asked the passengers to remain in the plane until take-off, but Khuong headed for the door and insisted on getting out. He was asked by the stewardesses to go back to his seat, and the plane took off 40 minutes later.
The press release says when the plane was still on the runway, Khuong picked a fight with the crew members. He demanded that they give him his boarding pass back, remained out of his seat and yelled at the flight attendants, according to the release.
After the captain taxied back to the terminal, Khuong was removed from the plane by security officers and handed over to Da Nang Airport authorities.
Vietnam Airlines said its crew members and security officers did not do anything wrong. The passenger was forced off the plane because he did not comply with safety rules, putting the flight at risk, according to the airlines.
Eileen Tan, a passenger on the flight, claimed that Khuong had entered the business-class cabin to talk with a stewardess when the plane stopped in Da Nang. He then got back to his economy-class seat and took his luggage out of the upper-stowaway compartment.
When he was asked to remain in his seat, he repeatedly yelled at the flight attendants, she said.