Earlier this month, a WestJet flight that was heading from Calgary to London, England was forced to turn around and head back to Calgary when one of the passengers on board became severely intoxicated. The mans "absolutely disgusting" drunken behavior caused the airline to lose out on 20,000 pounds of fuel and resulted in charges being laid to the man to pay the airline over $20,000 for wasted fuel.
David Stephen Young, 44, had been visiting his mother in British Columbia over the holidays and was planning on returning back to his home in the U.K. Young was a recovering alcoholic who had been sober for about 18 months. While waiting for his plane departure he had consumed six drinks and according to CBC News, it was due to the fact that he was depressed due to a death in his family.
The WestJet flight took off at 6:10 P.M. and was only turned around an hour later, landed back in Calgary at 8:30 P.M. The decision to turn the plane around was made when Young became belligerent and abusive with the flight crew as well as his fellow passengers. The issues began to arise when Young tried to get up multiple times to use the washroom during takeoff.
In order to land safely, the pilot was forced to dump 20,000 pounds of fuel. WestJet's total losses for both the fuel that was lost as well as the compensation for the other passengers on board could easily be more than $200,000.
Police were called to meet the flight when it arrived back in Calgary and Young was taken into custody. He has since then been charged under the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations with one count of causing a disturbance.
Since then, Young has been ordered to pay the airline back $21,260.68 to compensate for the lost fuel that was used in order to land back in Calgary.
In a statement, Young apologized for his actions and the inconvenience that he caused for other travelers. He will soon be sent back the U.K. and his defense lawyer, Michelle Parhar states, "he's essentially barred from entering Canada, barred from seeing his mother in B.C."
CBC also hinted that WestJet may be able to make a civil claim against Young if they want to recover more of the money that was lost through Young's actions.
Source: CBC News