A couple whose disruptive behaviour diverted a Jet2 flight has been fined more than £3,000.
Flight LS1507 from London Stansted to Gran Canaria on 6 July 2017 had to land in Faro, Portugal, instead, after Ronald St Ville, 55, and Pauline Gordon, 65, started using foul language and hitting one another.
After cabin crew conferred with pilots, the decision was made to divert to Faro as the rest of the journey was over water – the concern was that crew would not be able to perform their duties if anything went wrong because they had to focus all their attention on the couple.
The pair were charged with “recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft” earlier this year.
Jet2, in addition to issuing a lifetime flying ban to the couple, also took steps to recover costs which it incurred as a result of the diversion.
Its legal action was successful, with Pauline Gordon ordered by Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court to repay the airline more than £3,000.
Phil Ward, MD of Jet2.com said: “This is the latest of many successful court rulings against disruptive passenger behaviour, showing once again that there are serious consequences if you act in a disruptive fashion onboard an aircraft.
“As well as being banned from flying with us for life, Miss Gordon must now repay us for losses incurred, which came about as a direct result of her actions.
“As a family-friendly airline carrying millions of holidaymakers, many of whom our families, we want our customers to have an enjoyable flight experience without the actions of a disruptive few spoiling it.”
At the original trial, heard in Chelmsford, cabin crew said they felt “scared” and “intimidated” by the couple after they started shouting at each other.
Gordon was witnessed hitting St Ville in the neck and the back by cabin crew.
“Some of the children had got a bit upset, there were two crying children,” said Caitlin McAleese. “I felt very intimidated. I was scared of the potential of the gentleman.”
Fellow cabin crew member Felicity Scott added: “We would have felt completely on edge about what could happen next [had the plane not diverted]. I told the pilots because it was such a situation they needed to know about it.
“It was a situation we believed was endangering the safety to the aircraft.”
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