Unruly passenger ordered to pay United Airlines $20,638 for acting like a jerk

A 30-year-old gentleman from England was ordered to pay United Airlines $20,638 for being an unruly passenger. He was also arrested.

The pricey incident occurred in March on a flight from London to Newark, when the lead flight attendant asked Alexander Michael Dominic MacDonald — who was "arguing loudly" with his girlfriend — to lower his voice.

This prompted MacDonald to escalate the situation, finding another flight attendant to argue with, before grabbing the first flight attendant by the shoulders, backing him into a corner, and threatening to "mess up the plane."

Needless to say, the plane, carrying 160 passengers, was diverted, making an emergency landing in Bangor, Maine, whereupon the belligerent fellow was arrested and banned from flying on United Airlines again.

From The New York Times:

Mr. MacDonald had been in custody since March 1, when he was arrested after his flight landed at Bangor International Airport. He pleaded guilty on March 22 to one count of interfering with a flight crew, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

With the help of another passenger, the purser restrained Mr. MacDonald in flexible handcuffs, but he "continued to be noncompliant" and the purser determined that the plane needed to land "for the safety of the crew," the affidavit states. The captain also believed that continuing to fly to Newark "was too great a risk," the affidavit states.

United Airlines said in a statement that the plane landed in Bangor so the "police could remove two disruptive customers who appeared to be intoxicated." The statement did not identify those passengers but said they had both been banned from flying on United Airlines. After the passengers were removed from the plane, it continued on to Newark.

See more unruly passenger posts on Boing Boing here.