Passenger to appear in court after alleged 'air rage' incident

Mon, Aug 20, 2012, 01:00

A MAN will appear in court today charged in connection with an alleged “air rage” incident on board a Shannon-bound transatlantic flight on Saturday.

The 41-year-old US national, understood to have been flying first-class, was travelling with friends on a scheduled United Airlines flight from Newark in New Jersey to Shannon at the time.

At about 6.20am, about an hour before flight UA-024 was due to land at Shannon, the crew made contact with air traffic controllers to report they had a “disruptive” passenger on board.

The pilot told controllers that cabin crew members had taken control of the situation by overpowering the man but that they would require police to be standing by for their arrival.

The man was reported to be intoxicated and abusive to crew members and had to be restrained for the remainder of the flight. There were no reports of anyone being assaulted or of any damage being caused on board.

The flight landed at Shannon at 7.22am and was met by airport police and Garda personnel, who quickly boarded the jet. The man was arrested and taken to Shannon Garda station for questioning.

Gardaí interviewed the captain, crew members and a number of first-class passengers who witnessed the incident. The passenger was detained and is expected to face charges of being intoxicated on board a flight and with engaging in abusive and threatening behaviour.

He was released on station bail and is due to appear before Ennis District Court today. The man is understood be a professional designer from Houston in Texas and was travelling to Ireland for a week’s holidays with friends.