An AirAsia flight from Bangkok to Nanjing was forced to turn around after an irate passenger deliberately threw boiling water on a flight attendant, the airline says. According to the airline, a Chinese couple who were traveling with a tour group became furious when they were seated apart, and instead of calming down when flight attendants were able to seat them together, the woman ordered instant noodles and boiling water and then proceeded to chuck the scalding water on a flight attendant after a dispute over payment, Jalopnik reports.
Witnesses say the pilot made the decision to return to Bangkok after the man threatened to blow up the plane and the woman started pounding on the plane windows and saying she was going to kill herself, the Wall Street Journal reports. Xinhua—which describes the incident as "the latest scandal to taint the image of Chinese tourists abroad"—reports that the couple and two other passengers involved were arrested after the plane landed in Bangkok and had to pay $1,500 compensation to the attendant. After the incident last Thursday was reported in state media in China over the weekend, authorities issued a statement saying the passengers had been put on a travel blacklist because they "severely tarnished the image of the Chinese people." (Read more airline industry stories.)