A COUPLE from Leeds have been fined after admitting to being drunk and abusive on board a plane during a flight back from Lanzarote.
Michael Best, 56, and Doreen Tasker, 63, became aggressive towards staff on board a Jet2 flight bound for Leeds Bradford Airport on in the early hours of July 20 this year, Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard.
Mark Haigh, prosecuting, said the couple became aggressive around 20 minutes before the plane was due to land.
Mr Haigh said there was an issue between Tasker and female air steward when she was told not to stand up and instead sit down and put her seat belt on.
The court heard Takser and Best were both drunk at the time.
Tasker was holding a plastic glass and said to the air steward: “I am a nervous flyer. This might end up in your face.”
Best was heard to say to Tasker: “Just bash her on your way out.”
The steward told her manager and police were contacted. The couple, of Appleton Grove, East End Park, were arrested when the aircraft landed.
Best and Tasker pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour with intent to cause harassment or distress and being drunk on an aircraft.
The couple did not have legal representation during the hearing.
Best told district judge David Kitson that the couple had had things thrown at the door of their home since a report of the incident appeared in the press.
He added: “I’m really sorry. The sensible thing I can do is plead guilty and get things out of the way.”
Tasker said: “I just think it’s all been blown out of proportion and exaggerated. I want to plead guilty and get on with it.”
Best was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £895 and Tasker a sum of £505.
Judge Kitson said: “This was totally inappropriate behaviour in a confined space on an aircraft in front of children. Whether you feel it was exaggerated or not, behaviour like that towards airline staff in unforgivable.”
At the time of the incident, the company’s managing director Phil Ward said: “We will always do everything we can to protect both our passengers and our employees.
“This is vital not just to protect the vast majority of our perfectly behaved customers, but also to look after our own team members.”