Drunk Passenger Costs Airline $120K For Emergency Landing

An intoxicated passenger who became disorderly on a Qantas flight to Japan may have cost the company $120,000, according to the Courier Mail.

Reports indicate 34-year-old passenger Justin Richard Cooke was drunk and disorderly during his flight from Sydney to Japan. When the staff was finally able to properly subdue the man, the pilot decided to make an emergency landing.

NineMSN explains that Cooke was extremely intoxicated during the flight. The problem took a decidedly violent turn after the passenger lit a cigarette in the toilet. When confronted by staff, the man allegedly punched one of the flight attendants in the face.

In order to subdue Cooke, crew members had to place the man in restraints. As a result of the altercation, the pilot decided to make an emergency landing so authorities could handle the unruly passenger.

The decision became costly when the pilot was forced to dump over 60,000 liters of fuel to make the landing. Over 350 passengers found themselves taking an unexpected detour as a result of Cooke’s behavior.

Authorities explained the man was so intoxicated that he was unable to attend a court hearing the following afternoon. Cooke is presently facing charges of lighting a cigarette on an aircraft, behaving in an offensive matter, assault, and acts threatening the safety of persons in an aircraft.

According to the Herald-Sun, there have been an alarming number of alcohol-related incidents on recent flights. Within the past year, Australian Federal Police said there were 1,000 reports of drunken behavior. Over 145 people have been charged for their actions.

Cooke is in some serious trouble for his behavior on the Sydney flight. Officials said the assault charges alone could land the guy behind bars for nearly 10 years. To make matters worse, Qantas could send Cooke a bill for the fuel they had to dump.

What do you think should happen to the drunk passenger who forced the Qantas flight to make an emergency landing?