A young college students Hawaii vacation got off to a rough start last Monday when a situation arose where the passenger violently demanded additional alcohol servings on board a Delta Airlines flight.
The Business Insider (access here) reported about the incident that took place on a Delta Airlines flight from Seattle to Maui last Monday.
Schneider, who wore a prison jumpsuit to the hearing in Honolulu, was traveling with his girlfriend on the Delta Air Lines flight Monday. He had a double tequila cocktail and demanded more alcoholic drinks, according to the FBI’s criminal complaint.
Two hours into the flight, passengers seated near Schneider started pushing their call lights, complaining that he was making threats and wanting to move seats, the court documents said.
When a flight attendant tried to calm Schneider, he became more agitated, swearing at the crew member, advancing on him and then pushing him.
Then, “when a nearby passenger tried to calm Schneider down, Schneider threatened to kill the passenger,” the complaint says.
Sounds like quite a bit of back and forth. A simple double tequila drink shouldn’t have such a dramatic effect on someone but you never know…
When he was restrained with plastic handcuffs, he slid one of his hands out, the complaint said.
Flight attendants were able to restrain Schneider before the flight landed, Delta said in a statement. Law enforcement officers were waiting when the flight arrived.
Something tells me the beaches of Hawaii are not going to be facilitated too much on this guys holiday.
A judge on Friday ordered the passenger to undergo mental-health and substance-abuse evaluations at a Honolulu halfway house. After that, he will be able to head home after posting a $10,000 bond, returning to Hawaii for court dates.
“He’s sorry the whole thing happened,” Peter Wolff, Schneider’s federal public defender, said after the detention hearing in federal court. Schneider, a waiter and student, doesn’t remember what happened, Wolff said.
It appears the passenger was simply ‘out of it’ and must have either had a few more drinks before his flight or generally a very short temper. The situation as described doesn’t sound very comfortable to me and I have personally seen how a verbally loaded argument ended in shoving and pushing on board an aircraft. In any way, a plane is obviously not the place to fight.
What is interesting to me is that these situations seem to happen much more frequently on board U.S. carriers than European or Asian ones. I can’t help but wonder if the attitude of some flight attendants in such instances further fuels the situation. When I witnessed a similar case as mentioned above, it was on British Airways and the matter was resolved professionally and with some humor involved. I can very well image an American crew going completely havoc in that situation. Of course there is a limit to everything, if a passenger really needs to be restrained due to severe violence there is not much more that can be done.