Last updated: 12:40 PM ET, Sat June 20 2015

Etihad Passenger Reportedly Attacks Flight Attendant Over Smoking Ban

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | June 20, 2015

Etihad Passenger Reportedly Attacks Flight Attendant Over Smoking Ban

A smoking ban reportedly was the cause of an alleged flight attendant assault aboard an Etihad Airways flight this past week, according to The Daily Mail.

The alleged attack occurred about seven hours into flight EY460’s 13-hour journey from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne, Australia, after the twentysomething passenger was told he could not smoke on the plane.

Other travelers were compelled to restrain the out-of-control individual and secure him until landing.

A Melbourne native returning from a U.K. vacation was a witness to the incident, and told the Brisbane Times, via The Daily Mail, “There was a lot of screaming, shouting and it was terrifying. There were about six or seven men who held him down and then the crew supplied cable ties to tie him to a seat in the last row.”

An Etihad Airways spokesperson verified the incident to The Daily Mail’s MailOnline Travel, and added that a fellow passenger was also assaulted. The spokesperson said that an emergency landing was considered, but

“With the male passenger restrained and no longer a threat, a decision was by made by the pilot, in consultation with cabin crew and the airline's security team, to continue the flight to Melbourne.”

Upon landing at Melbourne, Australian Federal Police took the individual into custody.

“Etihad Airways apologizes to the passengers on board the flight for any distress the incident might have caused. The safety of Etihad Airways' passengers, staff and assets is the airline's number one priority,” the spokesperson said.

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