Woman jailed over mile-high tantrum
A drunk passenger who tried to storm the cockpit of a plane screaming, "I'm going to kill everyone," has been sentenced to two years in jail.
Chloe Haines, 26, tried to force open the door of a Jet2 plane before assaulting a member of the cabin crew in front of terrified fellow passengers on the flight from London Stansted to Turkey in June 2019.
The young woman had been swigging from a 200ml bottle of gin stashed in an overhead locker before the chaos unfolded.
Chelmsford Crown Court in England heard she had been "unsteady on her feet, seemed to be intoxicated and was slurring her words" after the plane took off, The Sun reported.
Haines, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, sobbed and whimpered as she was sentenced to two years behind bars after pleading guilty to endangering the safety of an aircraft and assault by beating.
"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," Judge Charles Gratwicke said.
"For some it will be their worst nightmare come true."
Two RAF Typhoon fighters had been scrambled to intercept the Airbus 321 around 45 minutes into its flight after Haines went berserk on board.
The former supermarket worker had tried to pull the exit door open before crew and passengers managed to pin her to the ground while the pilot turned the plane around and headed back to Stansted.
The court previously heard Haines was travelling with her wheelchair-bound grandmother when she flew into a rage during the flight.
Her erratic behaviour also saw her screaming, punching, singing and crying.
She tried opening the doors and screamed: "I'm going to f***ing kill everyone, you are all going to f***ing die".
As she continued her rampage, cabin crew member Charley Coombe was scratched while trying to calm the passenger down.
Haines later claimed that she "blacked out and didn't really remember what happened" after mixing alcohol with medication, prosecutor Michael Crimp said.
Jet2 later fined Haines £85,000 ($A164,000) and banned her from flying with the airline for life.
But the court heard the unemployed 26-year-old had so far been unable to pay the fine.
'NO TELLING WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED'
In December, Oliver Saxby QC, for Haines, said there was "no question that she was drunk" but that the charge of endangering the safety of an aircraft was the "more serious alternative".
He said the young woman, who has a personality disorder, was now engaged in an Alcoholics Anonymous program and has not taken a drink since the incident.
He also said his client was convicted of drink driving 17 days before the aeroplane drama, describing the latter incident as a "tragic cry for help" which had left her "deeply embarrassed".
Chief Inspector Lee Devall, Stansted Airport's deputy commander, described the incident as "terrifying" for the entire plane.
"If Haines had managed to open the door, there's no telling what might have happened to those on board," he said.
"The cabin crew put their lives at risk to prevent the door from being opened, even though they were incredibly frightened.
"They showed immense bravery and should be commended."
He said: "We will not tolerate dangerous or disruptive passengers. We appreciate that Haines has apologised profusely, and is mortified by her actions, but this must serve as a warning to anyone who drinks before boarding a flight - if you cause trouble, you will be arrested and we will seek an appropriate course of action to protect your fellow passengers."
Jet2 chief executive Steve Heapy also addressed the incident.
"Ms Haines' behaviour was one of the most serious cases of disruptive passenger behaviour that we have experienced and we have banned her from flying with us for life," he said.
"Her actions caused distress for customers as well as our crew, and as a family-friendly airline carrying millions of holiday-makers every year, we simply will not tolerate this on our flights."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission