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What forcing a plane back will cost you

Commonwealth prosecutors called for an unruly passenger to be jailed after his drunken abuse of cabin crew forced a plane to return. The man was fined and banned from flying with Virgin or Qantas. Was that enough?


An unruly Qantas passenger was fined $10,500 and ordered to pay an additional $15,207 to Qantas after his behaviour forced flight QF652 to return to Perth.


The judge said the man’s behaviour had put 18 crew members and 211 other passengers at risk as well as causing “a lot of inconvenience to a lot of people“, Perth Now reported.


Luke MacDonald Taylor had been drinking and had taken Xanax (a minor tranquilliser) before his flight from Perth to Brisbane in July last year.


Then 50 minutes into his flight, he started drinking the bourbon he’d brought onboard in a flask. 


Two drinks in, he was asked to stop and when cabin crew confiscated his flask he said: “I am doing what I f…ing want to do”.


Taylor then snatched the customer service manager’s headset when she tried to contact the pilot.


After poking his finger into her shoulder, a male crew member stepped in and Taylor reportedly clenched his fist and threatened to knock him into a wall.


A mother and baby were moved away from Taylor during the incident.


When Taylor was finally coerced into his seat, the pilot was contacted and the decision was made to turn the plane back to Perth.


But getting Taylor off the plane did not prove easy as he resisted arrest when Federal Police officers boarded the jet after landing (he tried to bite an officer) and had to be handcuffed and forced into the terminal.


Taylor had been earlier banned from flying on both Virgin and Qantas.

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Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 14 March 2018

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