An Air Canada flight destined for Calgary had to make an unscheduled landing in Edmonton Monday afternoon to deal with a drunken passenger causing a disturbance for several hours.
It all began about three hours into the eight-and-a-half hour flight from London, England. Annelies Bekes was sitting behind the man in first class when he began to get very loud and obnoxious, making drunken comments that couldn’t be understood.
“You couldn’t figure out what he was talking about,” said the 22-year-old, who was on her way home to Victoria, B.C. to visit family.
“I think he had a bit to drink before he got on the plane.”
The man began hitting on Bekes and making inappropriate comments. At one point, she said he grabbed and shook her leg, prompting one of the other passengers to tell a flight attendant about the man’s behaviour.
Bekes was moved further up to a different seat, but that wasn’t the end of the drunken man, who was wandering around the plan.
Bekes said the pilot placed the plane in lockdown and told everyone to remain in their seats, but there wasn’t any harm to the plane itself, other than the passenger disturbance.
Air Canada won’t provide any details about what happened next, but police say the man allegedly caused some minor damage to the plane and assaulted a female crew member and another passenger before he was restrained.
The man had to be subdued with plastic straps tied to his legs and arms by crew members and passengers prior to landing in Edmonton around 3:45 p.m.
But the man continued to voice his displeasure with his newfound situation.
“It was very very loud. He was yelling for the vast majority of the flight,” said Bekes, noting the man claimed to be an oil executive. It’s a flight she’ll never forget.
“The whole thing with him just made me incredibly uncomfortable. It’s different when you are in a bar and some guy is hitting on you, but when you are being hit on on a plane, you really can’t go anywhere. It was just like OK, why won’t he go away?”
The man was arrested by police once the plane made an unscheduled landing in Edmonton, where it stopped for about 45 minutes before continuing to Calgary.
Police believe the man smuggled alcohol onto the flight, which was carrying 349 passengers at the time.
Justin Frank of Calgary has been charged with several offences and remains in custody. He will appear in Leduc Provincial Court on Thursday.
Why aren't Commercial Airline Pilots allowed to drink and Fly ?
If the pilot of a Delta airlines flight wants to have a few drinks, like some vodka, rum and coke, and get a little wasted to have more fun in the cock pit, why can't they have fun on the job?
I think people should be allowed some creativity on their jobs. Like if a pilot has a different way of flying the plane, a more creative way of getting from point A to point B, or likes to fly lower to the ground instead of 5 miles high? Why not allow this creativity?
Also we should do more in the name of diversity in recruiting commercial airlines pilots.
For example, if a person is a minority, then if the person received training in how to fly a plane but has little to no experience flying, they should waive that requirement and hire that pilot to fly Delta as a minority as affirmative action to undo discrimination and racism of the past.
I think we should legislation that makes it harder to fire commercial airline pilots that are minorities.
Also if the pilot enjoys flying to Miami instead of Chicago, we shouldn't fire a pilot just for flying to the wrong city.
2 years ago
If a pilot is making mistakes in flying the plane but he is really trying his hardest, there should be a union to protect him from losing his job.