A QantasLink flight travelling to Canberra has been forced to return to Sydney after an argument broke out between two passengers over the use of a mobile phone.

According to a passenger, who spoke to news.com.au on the condition of anonymity, an older man became annoyed when a younger passenger refused to switch off their phone.

"I was a few rows up from the two men, however I didn't hear anything or an argument," said the passenger, who was seated three rows in front of the altercation.

"We took off and were about halfway to Canberra when the pilot said we would be turning around and heading back to Sydney.


"He said any passenger altercation won't be tolerated on-board."

The plane, which was due to land in Canberra around 3.15pm, made its way back to Sydney where it was met with police on the tarmac.

"When we landed in Sydney, the air hostess opened the doors to the police," the passenger explained.

"Three police came in and took the two men off the plane."

It's understood the younger passenger refused to switch off their phone while flight QF1421 was taxiing for takeoff from Sydney.

In exclusive footage obtained by news.com.au, three Australian Federal Police officers board the plane before escorting two men off.

Flight QF1421 was returned to the terminal after passengers fought over the phone. Photo / Flickr.com CC
Flight QF1421 was returned to the terminal after passengers fought over the phone. Photo / Flickr.com CC

"I heard some people say the older man threw the younger one's phone and the air hostess got involved," the passenger who was seated nearby said.

"The air hostess said, 'That's not your job that's my job'. It all happened very quickly, there were no raised voices.


"Apparently, one guy snatched the other guy's phone and threw it.

"Back in Sydney, the men were very quiet during the arrest. Qantas handled it very well … giving us the option to get off plane in Sydney if we wanted to.

"It was a big pain though … an inconvenience to everybody, especially with all the delays because of the winds in Sydney. But Qantas did a very good job to resolve it all."

In a statement sent to news.com.au, a spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police confirmed they attended an incident at Sydney Domestic Terminal, however no charges had been laid.

"AFP officers spoke with staff and a number of passengers in relation to an alleged on-board altercation - however no charges have been laid at this time," the statement read.

"AFP investigations are ongoing and no further comment can be made."

A Qantas spokesman confirmed the passengers had been removed from the flight following an argument but declined to comment further.