Drunk WestJet Passenger Ordered to Pay $21,000

Jan 31, 2019

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A drunk and unruly WestJet passenger that caused a plane diversion has been ordered to repay the airliner $21,260.68 for wasted fuel.

David Stephen Young, a UK native, boarded a flight to London in Calgary on Jan. 4 after consuming about six drinks while waiting in the airport. According to CBC News, Young was drunk and belligerent and repeatedly tried to get up during take-off to use the lavatory. After arguing with the flight crew and a fellow passenger, the decision was made to turn back to Calgary.

Following the incident aboard the plane, Young spent one week at the Calgary Remand Centre before he was released on bail. He pleaded guilty to charges under the Aeronautics Act and Criminal Code “of failing to comply with safety instructions and resisting arrest.” Provincial court Judge Brian Stevenson also stated victims of Young’s behavior included the flight crew, passengers aboard the plane, WestJet, WestJet’s shareholders and the police and CBSA officers that arrived at the airport to arrest him.

Young was in town to visit his mother over the holidays. An alcoholic who had been sober for 18-months prior to boarding the plane, he was allegedly depressed because of a death in the family and a failed marriage, according to the facts of the case presented in court last week.

WestJet’s total reported loses, including compensating passengers and the 20,000 pounds of wasted jet fuel, could be more than $200,000. However, Stevenson said he didn’t want the court-ordered payment to bankrupt Young. He was instead charged just for the cost of the wasted fuel and faces the potential of never being able to enter Canada again.

This isn’t the first instance of a passenger facing a court order to repay an airliner after causing a disturbance. A Delta passenger back in May 2018 had to shell out $9,118 for unruly behavior while in flight.

Featured image by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

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