Terminal of choice for air rage stops
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."
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Businessman charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London hotel
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...
£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...
Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...