Jetstar flight evacuated due to argument over Israel Palestine war

A Jetstar flight had to turn back to the gate and some passengers were removed after a row over a bad back escalated to shouting about the war in Israel and Palestine.

Flight JQ501 was about to take off from Sydney bound for Melbourne early on Tuesday when a man started complaining about back pain and demanded to leave the plane.

This created a “domino effect” where other passengers also demanded to get off, with some crying out “there’s a war in Palestine”.

“We were all quite confused,” Sharee, a passenger on-board the flight, told 3AW.

“For the rest of us, because they were talking about the war in Palestine, it made us all very nervous.”

The rest of the spooked passengers were unsure about their own safety, so the flight crew decided to allow everyone off the plane.

“Obviously, it’s unusual for the crew to allow passengers to leave a plane once you’ve all boarded,” Sharee said.

“The crew actually handled it quite well.”

After temporarily allowing everyone off the plane, a new crew was called for and the flight was due to leave for Melbourne at 8.45am.

Jetstar offered passengers the option to get a refund on their flight or to change to a different flight.

The plane is believed to have eventually left Sydney shortly after 9am, three hours after its scheduled departure time.

Jetstar said there was no physical altercation and the aircraft was not evacuated but did not comment on claims some passengers were shouting about the war.

“We can confirm there was no fight on-board, the aircraft was not evacuated, and there was no security risk,” the airline said in a statement.

“Our crew noticed a passenger behaving unusually and requested AFP attendance.

“The aircraft returned to the gate and the passenger chose not to fly. We now understand the customer was a nervous flyer and was experiencing anxiety.

“We also understand the situation made some other people on-board feel uneasy and they also decided not to continue with their journey.

“As a result of this we had to delay the flight and apologise to customers for the inconvenience.”

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