A passenger who was yelling and have become bodily aggressive on a United Airways flight from London to Newark in March, prompting the crew to divert the aircraft to Bangor, Maine, has been ordered to pay the airline $20,638 in restitution, federal prosecutors stated.

The passenger, Alexander Michael Dominic MacDonald, 30, of Chelmsford, England, was additionally sentenced on April 25 to time already served, prosecutors stated.

Mr. MacDonald had been in custody since March 1, when he was arrested after his flight landed at Bangor Worldwide Airport. He pleaded responsible on March 22 to 1 depend of interfering with a flight crew, a felony punishable by as much as 20 years in jail.

“He apologized for his actions in court docket and appears ahead to returning residence to his household in England,” Mr. MacDonald’s lawyer, Matthew D. Morgan, stated in an e-mail on Tuesday.

Based on an F.B.I. affidavit, about 160 passengers and 10 crew members had been aboard United Airways Flight 883, which left Heathrow Airport close to London on the morning of March 1 and was headed to Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport in New Jersey.

A number of hours into the flight, the purser, or lead flight attendant, heard Mr. MacDonald “arguing loudly” together with his girlfriend and requested him to decrease his voice, the affidavit says. He agreed to take action, however minutes later the purser discovered him yelling once more, this time at one other flight attendant, the affidavit says.

The purser tried to calm Mr. MacDonald down however he “wouldn’t hear and continued to be verbally and bodily aggressive,” in line with the affidavit. Mr. MacDonald requested the purser if he wished to “have an issue” and threatened to “mess up the aircraft,” the affidavit states. He additionally put his fingers on the purser’s shoulders as he backed the purser right into a nook, the doc says.

With the assistance of one other passenger, the purser restrained Mr. MacDonald in versatile handcuffs, however he “continued to be noncompliant” and the purser decided that the aircraft wanted to land “for the security of the crew,” the affidavit states. The captain additionally believed that persevering with to fly to Newark “was too nice a threat,” the affidavit states.

United Airways stated in an announcement that the aircraft landed in Bangor so the “police may take away two disruptive clients who gave the impression to be intoxicated.” The assertion didn’t determine these passengers however stated that they had each been banned from flying on United Airways. After the passengers had been faraway from the aircraft, it continued on to Newark.

The variety of incidents involving unruly passengers on airplanes has dropped steadily because it reached file highs in 2021, when passengers returning to the skies amid the easing of coronavirus restrictions reported frequent and disruptive habits, together with many heated disputes over mask rules.

In January 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration launched a “zero-tolerance coverage” concerning unruly passengers, leading to hefty fines as an alternative of the warning letters or counseling that had been used beforehand. The company stated it had acquired 2,075 reviews of unruly passengers final 12 months, in comparison with 2,455 in 2022 and 5,973 in 2021.

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