I’m not sure how I missed this story initially, but thanks to @AirlineFlyer for Tweeting about it, as it’s quite something. It’s of course frustrating when a passenger causes a disturbance on a flight that leads to a delay. It wastes the time of all the passengers onboard, and also potentially costs the airline thousands of dollars.
Typically airlines don’t seem to go after passengers to recoup damages caused, though perhaps if they did so regularly, it would deter more people from causing situations to occur. In the US we already see airline employees sometimes threaten to kick people off “their plane” and “send them to jail.” Could you imagine if they could add a threat of charging them tens of thousands of dollars? 😉
Well, it looks like that’s exactly what Aeroflot is trying to do for an incident that occurred on February 16, where a passenger is being prosecuted for “petty hooliganism.” Here’s Aeroflot’s press release, which talks about what the passenger did, how they intend to go after him, and about how they’ll be able to blacklist passengers starting later this year (the whole thing is just so good that I’m sharing it in its entirety):
Aeroflot intends to recover costs incurred as a result of flight delays and additional aircraft maintenance at Sheremetyevo airport from passenger Evgeny Shigapov, who was removed from the flight for disobeying the crew’s instructions and attempting to enter the aircraft’s cockpit.
On Friday, February 16, business class passengers E. Borisov, P. Borisova and E. Shigapov were the last to board flight SU1750 from Moscow to Yakutsk, carrying a large number of hand luggage items. When asked by the flight attendant to show their boarding passes, they categorically refused, expressed extreme indignation at the airline’s regulations, were verbally abusive towards the crew, and made negative comments about the airline.
Despite being informed of the need to comply with the airline’s safety requirements and regulations, the passengers insisted on being allowed into the cabin on the basis of their employment IDs. After the boarding passes had been found and presented, the passengers proceeded to board the plane and settled into their seats. At this point Evgeny Shigapov, upon noticing that an employee of the airline was leaving the cockpit, pushed the employee aside and attempted to enter the cockpit without authorisation, demanding to speak personally with the captain of the aircraft. The passenger ignored repeated requests from crew members and the captain to leave the cockpit.
The captain made the decision to have Mr Shigapov removed from the flight and handed over to the police. The resulting delay to the flight lasted more than one hour. Aeroflot incurred extra costs in connection with this incident, the exact amount of which is being established.
Mr Shigapov is being prosecuted under art. 20.1 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation (petty hooliganism). Aeroflot is in possession of eyewitness reports confirming the destructive behavior of the passenger.
Flight safety is Aeroflot’s top priority. The airline shall strictly preclude any attempts to violate the rules of conduct on board that jeopardize safety.
Aeroflot reminds customers that beginning in June 2018, airlines will legally be able to include offenders on a black list and deny them future travel.