A Thai AirAsia flight bound for Nanjing was turned around after a woman reportedly threw hot water at a flight attendant. (File photo.)

Story highlights

A flight is turned back to Bangkok after a woman throws hot water on a flight attendant

Witnesses say the woman's boyfriend grew irate, threatened to blow up the plane

Many Chinese Internet users felt the airline should have pressed criminal charges

Beijing CNN  — 

Earlier this month, “nut rage” prompted the pilot of a Korean Air flight on the tarmac of New York’s JFK airport to turn back to the gate.

Now, “hot watergate” has forced a China-bound Thai AirAsia flight to return to Bangkok, angering not just the passengers on board but also the Chinese government and public.

Shortly after flight FD9101 took off last Thursday evening from Bangkok for the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, a male passenger asked a flight attendant for boiling water for his girlfriend’s instant noodles, witnesses told China’s state media.