Chloe Haines, the woman who tried to open the door on a Jet2 Flight last year prompting the RAF to launch a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) response has been sent to prison for two years.
Haines (26) of High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire went into a drunken rage on the Jet2 Flight to Dalaman, Turkey from London Stansted (STN/EGSS) on the 22nd June 2019 and assaulted cabin crew member Charley Coombe before attempting to open the door.
The flight was escorted back to London Stansted where Haines was arrested and subsequently charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft and assault.
Haines admitted the charges in a hearing in December 2019 and the case was adjourned until today for sentencing. In her defence, her barrister told the court that she “clearly troubled” and had problems with alcohol.
Jailing Haines, His Honour Judge 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.” adding “For some, it will be their worst nightmare come true.”
Jet2 has also sent Haines a civil claim for the cost of the diversion. The bill amounted to £85,000. It is not clear whether Haines has paid, or made any arrangement to pay this.
In reaction to the sentencing, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays CEO, Steve Heapy, said: “We welcome today’s decision and we are pleased to see the courts taking the issue of disruptive passenger behaviour as seriously as we do. The safety of our customers and our colleagues is of paramount importance to us and today’s sentencing sends out a serious warning; there are always consequences if you act in a disruptive or unsafe fashion onboard an aircraft.
“Ms Haines’ behaviour was one of the most serious cases of disruptive passenger behaviour that we have experienced, and we have banned her from flying with us for life. Her actions caused distress for customers as well as our crew, and as a family-friendly airline carrying millions of holidaymakers every year, we simply will not tolerate this on our flights.
“It is evident that excessive alcohol consumption was a contributing factor in this incident. 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. As another busy summer approaches, we look forward to continuing to work with the Government and our partners across the industry to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and comfortable journey without the minority spoiling it.”