MELBOURNE, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A group of up to 16 drunken and rowdy passengers first delayed, then were kicked off a flight from Melbourne to Sydney on Monday evening.
As the Jetstar plane sat on the tarmac, a small group of passengers became disruptive and eventually were told to leave the plane. Their traveling companions chose to join them.
The fight was delayed about 90 minutes while the group disembarked and their luggage was removed from the baggage compartment.
Budget airline Jetstar defended the decision to remove the passengers, despite the delay.
"We don't tolerate disruptive behavior by passengers on our flights, so our crew made a decision with the captain that a number of passengers would not travel on one of our Melbourne to Sydney services overnight," a Jetstar spokeswoman said Tuesday.
"We take safety and security seriously and have strict rules on alcohol use, including the right to deny boarding or offload intoxicated passengers," she said.
"Unfortunately the actions of this group interrupted the travel plans of other customers."