The Norwegian Air flight had been in the air for 40 minutes when cabin crew were alerted to smoke in one of the lavatories. An e-cigarette was allegedly taken from Bochner and he was returned to his seat.
Around 20 minutes later Bochner became abusive and attempted to hit one of the male cabin crew members before he was restrained and handcuffed with the help of some passengers.
Garda Walsh said the defendant was very aggressive when he disembarked around 6.15pm last evening and he smelled of alcohol. However, she acknowledged he was a totally different man this morning.
Defence solicitor Stiofan Fitzpatrick said the incident was extremely unfortunate and there was no rhyme nor reason to explaining his client’s actions. He said his client was returning to America after visiting his girlfriend in London and had taken drink to help him sleep on the long flight.
Mr Fitzpatrick said the 28-year-old has no recollection of the incident and is anxious to return to the United States as he is the sole carer for his elderly grandparents.
He was charged with threatening and abusive behavior, being intoxicated, and failing to obey directions from cabin crew. The diversion allegedly cost Norwegian €100,000. How much did the court force him to pay? Amazingly enough, only €1,000!
Perhaps this opens up a new kind of throwaway ticketing. Rather than throwing away a segment of a trip, throw away part of a flight. Just make sure traveling to that destination would cost at least €1,000 more than what you book, and make sure you time your tantrum properly. 😉
That seems like an awfully small punishment for such a major diversion. I was always under the impression that diverting a flight for non-medical reasons left the passenger much more liable than this.
(Tip of the hat to No Name)