Vietnamese man fined for assaulting flight attendant over lost cell phone

By Pham Van   August 17, 2016 | 05:08 am PT
The man received a fine nearly equal to the price of the phone.

A male passenger has been fined VND15 million (US$672) for assaulting an air hostess on a Vietnam Airlines flight from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City last week, the Southern Airports Authority said Wednesday.

On August 13, Mai Thanh B., whose first name was not revealed, sitting in the business class cabin, slapped Chu Thi Tho, the flight attendant, after she failed to locate his iPhone 6 Plus. 

Tho was reportedly called over after the phone went missing from the passenger's table.

After folding the table and replying that she couldn’t find the phone, the passenger suddenly slapped her across the face. As she ran to the cabin, B. was heard threatening the chief of the cabin staff.

He also shouted that he would take complete responsibility for the act.

The passenger later explained to authorities that when he woke up, his phone was not where he had left on the table after his meal. As the plane touched down, he used his spare phone to call the lost one, but it was switched off.

“I thought Tho may have taken my phone, so I asked: 'If you took my phone, give it back,' but she said she didn’t have it. I couldn’t control myself and slapped her,” B. told the authorities under questioning.

Twenty minutes later after all the passenger had disembarked, another attendant found the lost phone under his seat.

Cashing in on low fuel prices and budget airlines, the new Vietnamese middle class are flying in ever-greater numbers within Southeast Asia, the Financial Times reported in April. The number of Vietnamese who fly rose from 62.3 per cent to 68.2 per cent over the past three years, according to the newspaper.

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