Two Canadian woman started their Cuban vacation a little early on a Sunwing flight, forcing the plane to turn around — and be escorted by two fighter jets, CNN is reporting.
The women, identified as 25-year-old Lilia Ratmansky of Whitby and 26-year-old Milana Muzikante of Vaughn (both cities are suburbs of Toronto), according to Metroland Media, allegedly began their journey by enjoying some bubbly; Sunwing advertises low-cost vacation getaways to Cuba and Central America with “Champagne Service,” meaning that passengers get a glass of champagne on boarding.
After the free booze went dry, the women allegedly broke into their stash of duty-free liquor they’d stocked up on at the Toronto airport’s duty-free shops. At some point into their pre-vacation party, they were so liquored up that they forgot that you aren’t allowed to smoke on aircraft, and went into a bathroom and lit up a cigarette, setting off the plane’s smoke detector. Then, they started swinging fists at each other, and then made a “non-specific threat” against the aircraft. That was when the pilot decided to turn the plane around.
A Sunwing spokesperson said that the likelihood of the women actually doing any harm to the aircraft or its crew was very low, “given their condition,” but rules are rules, and the pilot turned the aircraft around. At this time, the plane was in airspace over South Carolina, meaning NORAD got involved. Two CF-18 fighter jets were scrambled, and met the craft at the Canadian border. The fighter-jet escort only lasted a few minutes, according to Metroland, and the other passengers in the plane erupted into cheers and applause when police boarded the craft to take the women into custody.
The other passengers were given free meal vouchers and an apology.
This is the second time in a matter of weeks that a Sunwing craft has had to turn around mid-flight. On July 28, a SWAT team boarded a Sunwing flight that was forced to return to Toronto after a passenger allegedly made bomb threats while on-board the plane (see this Inquisitr article).
As for the hard-partying Canucks, what will happen next is unclear. The women spent the night in jail, and a judge will decide later today what charges, if any, they will face. They are unlikely to face terrorism charges, since their threat was non-specific and they were completely drunk when they made the threat.
Have you ever been on a flight that was forced to turn around or make an early landing because of unruly passengers? Let us know below.
[Image courtesy of: Airline Reporter]