Jet2 passenger jailed for two years after trying to open plane door midflight
Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2020
A Jet2 passenger who tried to open the plane door mid-flight, prompting two fighter jets to be scrambled, has been jailed for two years.
Chloe Haines, 26, from High Wycombe, shouted “I’m going to kill you all,” as she ran for the door, scratching a crew member Charley Coombe as she tried to restrain her, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.
Two RAF fighter jets rushed to escort the plane back to Stansted Airport, costing Jet2 £86,000.
Haines pleaded guilty to endangering the safety of a passenger plane and assault by beating.
The Jet2 flights was heading to Dalaman in Turkey with 206 people on board on June 22 last year.
Haines claimed that she had blacked out and couldn’t recall the incident after mixing alcohol with medication, prosecutor Michael Crimp told the court.
The court heard it was impossible to open an exit door mid-flight but many passengers would not have known this.
Haines’ barrister Oliver Saxby QC described her as ‘a troubled young person with a number of serious issues’, including mental ill health.
She had been given a community order for similar offences involving alcohol and a loss of control 17 days before the incident, the court heard.
“She wasn’t just drunk, she was unwell,” Saxby said, adding that she felt ‘appalled’.
“She’s ashamed,” he said. “She’s deeply embarrassed by what she did”.
Judge Charles Gratwicke said: “Those that are trapped in the confined space of the aircraft will inevitably be distressed, frightened and petrified by the actions of those who in a drunken state endanger their lives.
“For some it will be their worst nightmare come true.”
Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy welcomed the sentence, saying it was ‘one of the most serious cases of disruptive passenger behaviour that we have experienced’.
Haines has been banned for life from the airline.
Mr Heapy said she had ’caused distress for customers as well as our crew’ adding ‘we simply will not tolerate this on our flights’.