It was not known how the man, aged about 40 wearing a light blue shirt and sandals , managed to slip on board undetected. The truth was out when another passenger found out his seat was occupied by the stranger who refused to leave the seat.
The incident prompted air stewardesses to rush to the seat to find out what was going on. When the stranger was asked to write his name, he declined and pretended that he didn’t understand Thai. Later on, security guards were called in and escorted him out of the plane.
But some of the passengers were worried that the stranger whose identity was unknown might have his luggage loaded on the plane voiced protests and demanded that all the luggages be offloaded and checked again for safety reason.
The dissenting passengers, numbering about 20, also demanded a change of their flight because they were not sure of the safety of their original flight which was supposed to leave Hat Yai airport at 11.15 a.m.
The problematic flight later left Hat Yai, several hours behind schedule and minus 20 passengers who were shifted to another flight.
As for the stranger, it was reported that he was escorted by police to a mental hospital for checks and he was later released.
Nok Air CEO Pathee Sarasin later tweeted promising that such an incident would be not repeated again as security would be stepped up.
However, the unusual incident was already posted by one of the passengers on Pantip website and it drew a flood of negative comments against the lax security at Hat Yai airport and the conduct of Nok Air staff in handling the incident.