Four Chinese women who got into a hair-pulling, knee-high-kicking catfight on board a passenger plane cruising 7,000m above ground have been in police detention since Monday, the local media reported.
The five-day custody was imposed by the police in Jiangsu province’s Nantong city, as punishment for putting the aircraft in danger with their behaviour, reported the Jiangsu-based Modern Express newspaper.
The women, aged between 30 and 50 years old, were travelling from Liaoning in north-eastern China, their home province, to Shenzhen in the south on Monday on a Shenzhen Airlines flight when a heated argument broke out among them over the adjustment of seats, said the newspaper.
Two of them had complained that the seats of the other two, who were younger, had encroached into their space, witnesses said.
There was a lull when the cabin crew intervened, but the older women soon started pulling the hair of the younger ones from behind their seats, added the witnesses.
The younger pair then got up and retaliated by kicking and tearing at the hair of the other parties.
The two sides were separated by the crew, and when the plane stopped in Nantong, the police came on board to take them away, said Modern Express.
The older women were on their way to Thailand for a holiday while the younger ones were going to Shenzhen to pick up goods for their business back home.
Mid-air incidents like this have been common among Chinese travellers in recent months, reported the South China Morning Post.
It cited the case in December of a group of Chinese passengers scalding a Thai stewardess with hot water and noodles, and threatening to blow up the plane during a flight from Bangkok to Nanjing.