An Overhead Bin Dispute Turned Into Brawl With Passengers And Crew Fighting Down The Aisle

On Saturday a fight broke out on board a Tunisair flight with combatants “exchanging beatings and slurs” on the aircraft as crew tried to intercede. They were attacked as well. In fact, masks came off of both passengers and crew as the fight roped in several aisles-worth of passengers, and as the brawl made its way down the aisle and back through the aircraft.

The April 10 melee began prior to departure in Tunis, Tunisia when a passenger put their carry on bag in the overhead bin above another passenger’s seat. One report suggests the passenger may have had too much luggage to fit above their own seat, trying to avoid paying checked bag fees.

According to the airline’s spokesperson Ghassen Ouji,

[A]n investigation has been opened and that the passengers, at the origin of the incident, could be the subject of prosecution.

“This fight caused a delay of five hours and financial losses were suffered by the company,” he added.

While the airline reports a 5 hour delay, it appears that Tunis Air flight TU216 from Tunis to Istanbul arrived 2 hours and 30 minutes late in Sunday’s early morning hours. That roughly doubles the flight’s schedule 2 hour 35 minute flight time it takes to traverse the 1040 mile route from North Africa to the European gateway to Asia.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. @ glenn t.

    Years ago I saw it on UA in the front. DC10. Full flight. Guy gets on late, can’t find a spot in the overhead, takes some other guy’s bag out and puts it on the floor. Sits down. Displaced bag fellow takes umbrage at this action. Mayhem ensues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.