A 'fair dinkum' farce

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An Australian woman was branded a criminal by airline officials after "swearing" on an American flight - with a classic, and utterly inoffensive, Aussie oath."Fair dinkum," New South Wales woman Sophie Reynolds muttered when told by a air hostess that there were no pretzels for her to snack on.


The next thing Ms Reynolds knew, the flight crew had demanded her passport to note down her details, telling her that swearing at attendants was a crime.


The 41-year-old, who lives in Queanbeyan, near Canberra, was stunned to find three uniformed officers waiting for her when she left the flight in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


"They said: 'You swore at the hostess and there are federal rules against that'," Reynolds told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


"And I said: 'I did not swear at the hostess, I just said 'fair dinkum'." Reynolds was travelling on a Delta Connection flight on SkyWest Airlines.


A SkyWest official said the airline was still investigating the incident, telling the journal "there are two sides to every story". "Our initial reports indicate it was more than a misunderstanding of the language," SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow told the journal.


"We witnessed aggressive behaviour throughout the flight." Ms Snow said the Utah-based airline, which flies under contract to Delta Air Lines, was still trying to contact Ms Reynolds. She said no charges had been filed as a result of the incident and Ms Reynolds had been allowed to go on her way after talking to police.

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