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Passenger Bites Flight Attendant's Finger On Turkish Airlines Flight

Date: October 16, 2022

BYLUKE BODELL, Simple Flying

A drunk Turkish Airlines passenger traveling from Istanbul to Jakarta became aggressive towards cabin crew, even reportedly biting the finger of a flight attendant. The Indonesian passenger, whose actions forced the plane to divert, was later revealed to be a pilot with Batik Air.

On October 11th, Turkish Airlines Flight TK 56 from Istanbul Airport (IST) to Jakarta (CGK) had to make a diversion after a passenger, under the influence of alcohol, became increasingly disruptive and eventually attacked cabin crew. Reports claim the man was initially irritated by a small dog belonging to a fellow passenger before flight attendants asked him to calm down.

The drunk passenger did not take the advice well and turned aggressive before biting the finger of one of the flight attendants. As seen from video footage of the incident, the passenger was then confronted by cabin crew and began throwing punches.

As it turns out, the unruly passenger is actively working as a pilot under Indonesian carrier Batik Air and was returning to the country after a holiday in Turkey. The man, named as 48-year-old John Jaiz Budewijn, had to be restrained after the brawl before the aircraft made a brief stop in Medan.

Reports have also indicated that other passengers eventually turned on the pilot, causing him unknown injuries. Batik Air, part of the Lion Air Group, has confirmed with local media that, while the man does indeed work for the airline, his actions do not reflect the value of the company.

The flight, en route to Jakarta, Indonesia, eventually had to land at Kualanamu International Airport in Medan, Indonesia, following the actions of the unruly passenger. The man was escorted off the plane before the flight continued to its intended destination, arriving around three hours later than scheduled.

Jakarta police have revealed that the passenger, who suffered injuries during the incident, is undergoing treatment at a clinic. It is unclear whether he will face any charges for his actions, although The Express reports that the Deli Serdang Police in Medan will open an investigation.

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