Terminal of choice for air rage stops

AN AMERICAN airport is marketing itself as the perfect place for dropping off unwanted travellers who have become tired and emotional.

Declining to offer the massage parlours for business clients or other special attractions favoured by some airports, Bangor International, in Maine, is fast becoming known as the place that delights in dealing with troublesome passengers.

Twenty-five per cent of all landings at Bangor are unplanned stops by planes in emergencies or in need of refuelling. Each unplanned visit can net the airport authorities $10,000 (pounds 6,250).

Given its strategic location near the flight path of many European destinations or for Europeans travelling on to locations elsewhere in the US, it is often the first choice for pilots in need of a quick landing.

Many of these unplanned stops are caused by drunk or unruly passengers - an increasing number of them British. In the past month three airliners have had to land at Maine to remove allegedly drunk or unruly Britons.

While many airports would shudder at the prospect of dealing with such horrors, Bangor International is happy to market itself at European trade conventions as the place to drop off your drunks. After the alleged offenders are locked in the Penobscot County jail, the pilots are waved on their way with an invitation to stop off any time.

"Frankly, other airports are not that interested in doing this. It's the dregs of the market," said Jeff Russell, head of the airport's marketing department.

While only a small proportion of the unplanned landings are to deal with incidents of air rage, it appears this is a phenomenon on the increase. Mr Russell believes Bangor handles between eight and twelve cases a year.

Police - and sometimes agents from the FBI - are involved in dealing with all this. "We have a whole new wing at Penobscot for Englishmen," said Paul Palumbo, based in the FBI's Bangor office. "We're serving tea."

In the past month the police have been especially busy. On 3 May an Airtours International flight was forced to make an emergency landing after Bryan Neal threatened to kick in an external window, which could have led to a drop in pressure. Neal, from Manchester, is now serving a 60-day prison sentence and owes the airline pounds 15,000 for damage he caused.

In the latest incident, Christopher Bayes, also from Manchester, allegedly groped two female flight attendants. His case is still being investigated. When Delta flight 064 made its unplanned landing earlier this week to unload Mr Bayes, the service crew at Maine knew the drill.

"It's like anything else," said Sergeant James Owen of the local police. "You do it enough times, you get used to it."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
people
News
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
people
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us