Cop banned from flying for fracas at Saigon airport

By Ba Do, Doan Loan

Sat, 8/24/2019 | 08:00 (GMT+7)

A policewoman has received a one-year flight ban for allegedly shoving and shouting at people at Saigons Tan Son Nhat Airport this month.

People check in at Saigon's Tan Son Nhat Airport, December 4, 2018. Photo by Shutterstock/Phuong D. Nguyen.

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam imposed the flight ban on Le Thi Hien on Sunday for disturbing order at the international airport.

Hien, a captain in the Dong Da District traffic police department in Hanoi, had used "offensive" words against aviation staff at the airport, kicking and pulling the hair of a security agent, it said.

Dong Da police suspended her for a month on Friday for "displaying behavior that violated public etiquette for People’s Army personnel."

Hien and her family were on a flight from Saigon to Hanoi on August 11 and checked in four bags weighing 57 kilograms.

She then tried to check in another piece weighing eight kilograms, but airlines staff told her to carry it by hand instead.

Hien was uncooperative and shouted at airport personnel, according to the Southern Airports Authority. When she was escorted out to resolve the issue, she continued to scream and shove people, injuring one in the process, it added.

A screenshot of a video shows Le Thi Hien at a check-in counter in Saigons Tan Son Nhat Airport, August 11, 2019.

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But Hien had another story to tell.

She said: "When I was at the airport, I was so upset that I couldn’t restrain myself. But the incident was partially because I was verbally assaulted first."

A video clip of the incident circulating on social media has been edited and did not record the whole conversation between her and airport personnel, including a scene where she was shoved, she claimed.

Passengers causing a commotion at Vietnamese airports are not a rare sight.

On Sunday, two women, a Vietnamese and a South Korean, had a heated argument at the baggage claim area of Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, which soon became a fight in which one sustained scratches on her head and the other on her neck and face. Each has been fined VND4 million ($172).

Last week a Taiwanese woman was fined VND4 million ($172) for shouting at aviation staff also at Tan Son Nhat after arriving late and being prevented from boarding.

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