British woman jailed for trying to open plane door mid-flight

British woman jailed for trying to open plane door mid-flight
Ms. Haines is sentenced to two years of jail. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times, London: A British woman who tried to open a plane’s door in mid-flight was sentenced to two years in jail Wednesday. The 26-year-old Chloe Haines was on a flight from London Stansted Airport to Dalaman in Turkey in June 2019 when crew members and fellow passengers had to stop her from opening the door.

The incident took place in June 23, 2019.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said Ms. Haines’ behavior was one of the most serious cases of disruptive passenger behavior that we have experienced. The company banned her from flying with them for life.

Following the incident, Two Royal Air Force fighter jets were scrambled to escort the jet back to Stansted Airport. Haines was billed more than £85,000 ($110,000) after her “extremely disruptive behavior” caused the flight to be diverted.

The UK’s PA media reports that Chelmsford Crown Court heard how the accused British woman had mixed alcohol and medication before the incident, which she didn’t really remember.

The plane was carrying 206 passengers when Haines “lunged” to open the door of the plane. Earlier, she had pleaded guilty to endangering the safety of an aircraft and assaulting Jet2 crew member Charley Coombe.

While announcing her sentence, 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.”

“I want to die”, “I’m going to kill you all”- Haines shouted before attempting to open the door as others struggled to restrain her.

Her lawyer pointed out her mental health condition in the court. Oliver Saxby QC, her lawyer, said Haines had not drunk alcohol since the incident and had been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings up to four times a week.

“She wasn’t just drunk, she was unwell. She’s disgusted with herself.”

Jet2 CEO Heapy said alcohol was clearly a contributing factor in the incident, and the airline is working to crack down on unruly behavior.

He said: “We have been leading the industry to tackle the issue of drinking to excess in the airport before flying, as well as the illicit consumption of duty-free alcohol on board the aircraft, for some time.”