Earlier this month, a Transavia flight from Dubai to Amsterdam made an emergency landing in Vienna after a brawl reportedly broke out on the plane over one passenger's alleged refusal to stop passing gas.
Once on the ground, the plane was emptied with the help of local police with dogs. Four passengers purportedly involved in the fracas were booted from the flight and banned from flying on the airline in the future, according to Dutch publication De Telegraaf.
One of the reasons we know this happened is not because of some viral video of an in-air altercation, but because two of the passengers who were booted and banned have filed a complaint against Transavia in court.
The suit comes from two sisters who happen to be Dutch of Moroccan descent, as were two men seated next to them who got into an argument with the flight crew over an older passenger's overly fragrant flatulence, among other things.
"The strange thing is that we also had to leave the aircraft. While we did not know these guys at all. We happened to be in the same row, but did not do anything to justify the bizarre behavior of the Transavia crew. Do they sometimes think that all Moroccans cause problems? That's why we do not let it sit," banned passenger Nora Lachhab told De Telegraaf.
Other passengers also told the publication that the airline crew overreacted and contributed to the situation getting out of control. For its part, Transavia issued a statement to Dutch press defending its employees, who insist that the two sisters were also verbally abusive:
"That is unacceptable. Our crew must ensure a safe flight. When passengers pose risks, they immediately intervene. Our people are trained for that. They know very well where the boundaries are. Transavia is therefore square behind the cabin crew and the pilots."
Oddly, however, an airline spokeswoman added something that would seem to indicate the company acted hastily in throwing the sisters off the flight and off all its flights in the future:
"We are open to a conversation with these women. Such an escalation often has two sides of the story. We would like to hear their experience," said the spokeswoman.
Perhaps that's a conversation that should have been had before ditching two paying customers in Austria and forcing them to find their own way home.
But we seem to be learning that the friendly skies are often a thing of the past, replaced by the vigilante-style improvised justice of flying in the 21st century. But hey, at least the pretzels are still free.