- Jun 27, 2007
A Qantas flight from Melbourne to Darwin was disrupted when passengers refused to buckle their seatbelts in protest to the attempted deportation of a Tamil asylum seeker by immigration authorities.
Qantas confirmed a "number of passengers" on QF838 became disruptive when they refused sit down and follow cabin crew instructions on Monday morning's flight.
The 25-year-old Tamil man, Puvaneethan, was being deported to Sri Lanka after the Refugee Review Tribunal found him not to be a refugee. He has been living in Australia since 2012.
"After boarding QF838 in Melbourne a number of passengers became disruptive. The passengers refused to follow cabin crew instruction so were offloaded and met by the AFP (Australian Federal Police)," a Qantas spokeswoman said.
While the merits of deportation can be argued disrupting a commercial flight is not the place to do it. Here's hoping those who participated are penalised, maybe with loss of fare.