A man who exhibited “absolutely disgusting” drunken behavior, which caused a WestJet flight to turn around, is now expected to pay the airline $21,260.68 for the cost of wasted fuel.
David Stephen Young, 44, pleaded guilty last week to charges under the Aeronautics Act and Criminal Code of failing to comply with safety instructions and resisting arrest, CBC reported.
According to CBC, Young is an alcoholic; however, he had been sober for 18 months. On January 4, he consumed six drinks while waiting to board his flight after he had visited his mother in British Columbia, Canada over the holidays. He was depressed because of a recent death in the family and a failed marriage.
Young boarded his flight from Calgary to London and became belligerent with the flight crew, as well as a fellow passenger, CBC reported. He also made multiple attempts during take-off to use the restroom. Within an hour of Young’s behavior, the crew decided to bring the plane back to its place of origin.
Westjet #WS1 to London returning to Calgary with a disruptive passenger. Left their hold and now inbound YYC. Police meeting at the gate. https://t.co/n5EZ1UqdcK pic.twitter.com/rKpHZj2gL9
— Tom Podolec Aviation (@TomPodolec) January 5, 2019
Young was arrested and spent one week in custody at the Calgary Remand Centre before he was released on bail.
“One has to feel some sympathy for the accused but as in all criminal legislation, it is trite to say that the voice of the victim must also be heard,” said provincial court Judge Brian Stevenson.
According to CBC, 20,000 pounds of fuel was exerted to land safely. WestJet could face over $200,000 in losses over the cost of fuel and compensation for the other passengers.
Young, in a statement read by his lawyer last week, had since apologized for his behavior and the “damage and inconvenience” it caused his fellow travelers.
As a result of this incident, it will be very difficult for Young to return to Canada again.
“He’s essentially barred from entering Canada, barred from seeing his mother in [British Columbia],” said his attorney.
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