Couple Banned from Flying after Being Caught in a Mile-High Scandal
A South African couple has been banned from FlySafair after being caught in a lewd act on a flight from Johannesburg to Durban.
A businessman, who sat next to the couple, recorded the incident and complained to the airline. According to the man, the female passenger reached over to touch her partner’s crotch while on the runway waiting to take off.
The act continued for approximately five minutes while they kissed and laughed. The businessman felt ill, recorded the incident and informed the air hostesses.
According to News24, he reported that the crew only relocated him to a new seat and spoke to the couple involved. He expressed concern about the lack of consequences for the couple’s behaviour and potential harm to a child who might have sat next to him.
The Civil Aviation Act of 2009 considers the act of conducting a nuisance, disorderly or indecent act on a plane a serious offence. The couple can be fined or imprisoned for up to six months. FlySafair has taken the complaint seriously and banned the couple from flying with them.
Advocate Chris Christodoulou of the legal firm Christodoulou & Mavrikis Inc, stated that the couple had committed a serious offence, which could result in their arrest. He suggested that the pilot could land the plane at the closest airport, and have the couple arrested. If they were found guilty, they would be liable for the costs of the stop.
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Christodoulou highlighted that the situation could have endangered the safety of other passengers on board. FlySafair spokesperson Kirby Gordon agreed that the incident was a serious offence, and the captain could divert the flight or have the SAPS intervene if he believed the safety of other passengers was at risk.
Gordon mentioned that sexual activity on flights was unusual, and people were generally well-behaved on flights.
The Durban businessman who complained felt that FlySafair had not taken his complaint seriously enough, and that the airline had a “no care” attitude.
He expressed disappointment at having to open a case against passengers with no names or ID numbers. Gordon said FlySafair would provide all the necessary information to support the man’s case if the authorities requested it.
The airline urged the man to lay a criminal charge against the couple and committed to following up with the case.