Air rage incident cost airline 200,000, court told
The booze- fuelled rage of a British passenger on a Canada- bound flight from London forced pilots to turn the plane around over the Atlantic Ocean and land in Glasgow, costing Ottawabased Zoom Airlines $ 200,000, a Scottish court has heard.
Lawrence Hoareau, a 28- year- old plumber from Wembley, had to be subdued during the June 1 flight after taking a swig from a smuggled bottle of vodka and accusing other passengers of stealing one of his CDs.
“ The passenger got unruly on board and the pilots made a decision to divert back to Glasgow, the closest airport,” Zoom spokesman David Clements told CanWest News Service. “ Clearly that was the right decision. Safety is paramount.”
Hoareau pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of disorderly conduct, placing others in a state of fear and alarm and breach of the peace. He was sentenced to 240 hours of community service during the hearing at a court in Glasgow.
“ When officers boarded and escorted him from the plane, the other passengers cheered,” prosecutor Paul Ayre told the court, according to Glasgow’s Daily Record. “ The cost of diverting the flight was £ 100,000 [ about $ 200,000 Cdn]), made up from landing fees and refuelling charges.”
The court heard Hoareau’s parents were also on board, and the “ horrified” couple continued to Canada with the rest of the passengers after their son was arrested.
Clements said the plane had been headed for Toronto, via Ottawa, when the pilots decided to divert to Glasgow.
He couldn’t confirm the air rage incident cost $ 200,000, but said turning the plane around was “ the cost of having a safe flying environment.”
Zoom suffered a similar incident in June 2005 when a drunken passenger on a Toronto- to- Glasgow flight became abusive and aggressive shortly before touchdown.
In that case, said Clements, flight attendants were unable to restrain the passenger and the pilots had to “ tackle” him after landing the plane.
An arresting officer in the 2005 case called it “ the most violent incident of air rage he’d ever seen,” Clements said.
CanWest News Service