WestJet awarded more than $21K from unruly passenger who forced flight's return to Calgary
A disruptive passenger was removed from a January 4 WestJet flight from Calgary to London, England after the aircraft made an unscheduled return to Calgary (image: Tracy Joyce)
A 44-year-old U.K man who was removed from a WestJet flight after becoming disruptive has been ordered to reimburse the airline for the fuel used to bring him into police custody.
On January 4, David Stephen Young was on a flight from Calgary to London, England when he was refused access to the washroom of the aircraft while the seatbelt light was activated. The 44-year-old forced his way into the lavatory and, after returning to his seat, became aggressive towards other passengers and the flight attendants.
A decision was made to return to the aircraft to the Calgary International Airport. Young was taken into police custody in Calgary and charged with a number of offences including causing a disturbance, criminal harassment, and assaulting a peace officer.
The aircraft dumped approximately 20,0000 pounds of fuel ahead of the return to Calgary.
Young was sentenced to one day in prison for each of his offences. Given consideration for his seven days in custody prior to his trial, Young has completed his sentence and served the equivalent of 10 days.
As part of his sentence, Young was ordered to pay the airline $21,260.68 CAD (approx. 12,260 GBP) to cover the fuel dumped or burned off during the unscheduled return to Calgary. The airline had sought $65,000 (approx. 34,500 GBP) in restitution.
Young's attorney confirmed her client is a recovering alcoholic who had several drinks before boarding the aircraft. Since his release from remand, Young has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.