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Drunken in-flight behaviour costs man over $22,000

February 1, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email


A Canadian court has come up with a novel way of letting a drunk and disruptive tourist know the cost of forcing an international flight to turn back – by charging him for the fuel.

British tourist David Stephen Young, 44, pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and failing to comply with safety instructions. The court heard that his drunken antics had caused a WestJet fight from Calgary to London to turn back.

The judge fined Young the cost of the wasted fuel: a little over CAD 21,000, which is equivalent to about AUD 22,000.

Young got off lightly. The prosecutor had wanted restitution to the airline set at a higher figure:  CAD 65,000.  Provincial court Judge Brian Stevenson had mercy because he didn’t want to bankrupt Young, who had been visiting his mother in Canada.

WestJet’s total losses over the escapade – which include the cost of the fuel and compensation for passengers – could top CAD 200,000, according to CBC News.

There’s a sad edge to the story. Young is a recovering alcoholic and he hadn’t touched a drop in 18 months.

On the fateful evening on 4 January 2019, he weakened and knocked back “about six drinks” while waiting to board his flight. His lawyer said he was depressed because of a death in the family and a failed marriage.

Once airborne, Young became belligerent and abusive, putting passengers in fear and forcing the pilot to dump fuel and turn back.

Now Young has a criminal conviction, he may not be able to return to Canada.

Written by Peter Needham

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