Unruly passenger on B.C. flight forces plane to turn back

Click to play video: 'Travel Tips: Disruptive airline passengers'
Travel Tips: Disruptive airline passengers
Travel Consultant Claire Newell discusses the potential consequences for airplane passengers who are unruly and disruptive. – Jun 15, 2023

A WestJet flight was turned back on Monday in B.C. because of an unruly passenger who allegedly consumed an illegal substance before boarding.

Terrace RCMP say the incident happened at noon, shortly after the Calgary-bound plane soared into the North Coast skies.

Police were contacted, and officers were dispatched to Terrace Regional Airport, where the plane returned not long after takeoff.

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“Officers were advised that the passenger had been disruptive, failing to remain in his seat during take-off, showing signs of paranoia and attempting to open the exits,” said the RCMP.

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“The man admitted to having consumed an illegal substance prior to departure.”

According to police, other passengers restrained the man until the plane touched down.

“Once police entered the plane, the man was arrested for causing a disturbance and taken into custody,” said the RCMP.

“Officers believed him to be experiencing a mental health crisis and apprehended him under the Mental Health Act and transported him to a local hospital for assessment.”

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RCMP added that no one was hurt during the incident.

Global News has reached out to WestJet for comment.

“WestJet has a zero-tolerance approach to any disruptive or unruly behaviour that could impact the safety and security of our guests, employees and operations,” the airline company said in an email to Global News.

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“In compliance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations, WestJet cabin crew are trained in handling passengers who may pose a safety hazard to themselves or others, as well as in de-escalating a multitude of situations to protect everyone onboard.”

The company said it also appreciated their guests’ patience and understanding and apologized for any inconvenience this may have caused.


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