A video of a passenger clashing with Qantas Airline staff on a Bali-Australia flight went viral last week. The altercation resulted in the passenger and his family being asked to leave the flight. New details have emerged about the incident, and it has been confirmed that the passenger in question is a high-profile rugby player.
The video was filmed by a fellow passenger and posted to TikTok. The incident occurred on the 20th of September, though it did not go viral immediately. The footage was taken while the plane was preparing to taxi at Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. In the video, the man claims that his wife and children are in tears.
He tells a flight attendant, ‘They made her cry, and she’s crying because they were being rude to her with a newborn baby’. As the altercation escalates, the flight attendant holds her hand up and asks the man repeatedly to ‘stop’. The man continues to demand an apology from the airline staff.
@9news “Get out of my face.” An Australian family has been kicked off their Qantas flight home from Bali, after a tense altercation with flight attendants. Full details, tonight on #9News ♬ original sound – 9News Australia
In the ‘extended cut’ of the video, the man in question continues to demand an apology from the airline staff. It is not possible to make out the man’s face in the video. He tells the staff, ‘Unless you carry my kids out, force them out, we’re not leaving’ and then goes on to say ‘Bring the police here’. He gets a swift response from the flight attendant, who replies, ‘we are’.
He goes on to protest, ‘You’re getting angry at my wife because both of them (their kids) are double teething…You can’t upset my family and kids. What are you talking about: ‘You can’t upset my crew,’ my wife is crying…Tell security to come and take me by the b**ls’.
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It has now been confirmed by News.com.au that the man in the video is a high-profile athlete and philanthropist, Zakir Slaimankhel. He lives in Sydney though he is originally from Afghanistan. He is best known as the leading try scorer for Afantsgan during the Asia Rugby Sevens competition that was held in Indonesia earlier this year. He is also well-loved for his role as an ambassador for NGO Muslims Around the World (MATW).
He is known affectionally as ‘Brother Zak’. He has a sizeable social media following. Despite the altercation with Qantas Airlines, he tagged Virgin Australia in a post on his feed to show he was traveling home after his trip to Bali. His social media feed is filled with photos from his luxury lifestyle. Many images show him wearing high fashion brands, relaxing on private or business class flights, as well as sports cars galore.
Zakir Slaimankhel has been approached for comment but is yet to issue a statement about the indecent. Qantas Airlines have spoken out about the viral video. They told reporters that the passenger was removed from the aircraft for ‘abusing our crew a number of times prior to the flight departing Bali’.
According to protocol, the incident will now be referred to a committee that will judge whether Slaimankhel faces further action. Should the committee find that his actions towards staff were abusive, there is scope for a travel ban to be placed.
A spokesperson for Qantas told the press, ‘The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority, and we do not tolerate any kind of abusive behavior…We ask customers to follow the direction of the crew for the safety and comfort of everyone on board’.
The viral video continues to circulate online, with many people resharing the post as a duet on TikTok. Comments on each version of the video have varied. One person wrote, ‘Idk who’s in fault here, but generally speaking. Airlines’ quality of service & customer care (towards economy class) are just getting worse everyday’.
Some suggested that the airline staff were ‘revving’ Slaimankhel, almost encouraging his anger so as to escalate the situation. One person wrote, ‘I would like to see what happened beforehand, but this flight attendant was trying to rev him up’.
Some people sided with the airline, writing, ‘People don’t understand that once you start yelling, you become a flight risk. They cannot depart with you on board’.
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Monday 2nd of January 2023
He's just another jerk who thinks his so called fame makes him privileged and can get away with anything. Btw, I'll bet that most people outside his Muslim cronies have never heard of him, I never have. Ban him for life from flying any airline flying into or out of Bali
Wednesday 16th of November 2022
I hate how all this article covered was who the man was and the airlines perspective. Now everyone who reads this is gonna assume this man and his family are at fault. I hope the family are okay and if Qantas’s policy is their passengers safety, then they should’ve apologised to the wife and made sure they were comfortable on their flight. Disrespectful🙄
Saturday 29th of October 2022
It should be against flight rules to have infants mixed with regulars passengers.
Screaming babies for a 7+ hour flight is hell on earth.
Rugby players aren't know for being smart people...
Friday 28th of October 2022
This idiot was flying in Coach Class? If he was such a "baller" he would have been in First Class or flying Private? Another social media poser. What a hot headed tosser! He should be banned from the airline and Indonesia.
Monday 2nd of January 2023
Wednesday 26th of October 2022
The more I read into this article and understanding who he is as a high profile rugby player and philanthropist, there must be two sides of this story. It did not say why his wife and children cried to begin with except the husband demanded an apology. Nothing was written to lead to that emotional breakdown.
Air crew seemed to have the last word and will judge you as not fit to fly and you could be kicked off the plane. It could range from improper clothing, body odor, intoxication, rudeness, body language, fear of religious attires, prayers or even an affiliation to a religion that other fellow passengers may feel uncomfortable to travel on the same flight with.