Drunk woman who tried to open plane door midflight jailed

The Jet2 plane was diverted back to Stansted Airport.
A woman who tried to open a plane door and scratched a cabin crew member in a manic drunken rampage has been jailed for two years.

Chloe Haines, 26, of High Wycombe, screamed “you are all going to die” in what a judge described today as a 'worst nightmare come true' for many of her fellow passengers.

Jets from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, were scrambled to intercept the plane, causing a loud sonic boom, heard for miles around Essex and Cambridgeshire.

Haines admitted to endangering the safety of an aircraft and assaulting a Jet2 employee after the flight to Turkey was diverted back to Stansted Airport.

She had to be restrained by cabin crew and fellow flyers during the dramatic journey in June, a court heard.

Jet2 said Haines had been banned for life from the airline and described her as one of the most disruptive passengers in the company's history.

Prosecutor Michael Crimps said Haines "blacked out and didn't really remember what happened" after mixing alcohol with medication.

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Sentencing her today, Judge Charles 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.

"For some it will be their worst nightmare come true."

Haines, dressed in a white shirt and black top, with her blonde hair in a ponytail, sobbed through much of today's hearing.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2, said: “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."

Less than three weeks before the mid-flight drama, Haines had been hit with a community punishment for offences on the ground.

Haines leaving Chelmsford Magistrates Court after a previous hearing.
Oliver Saxby QC, for Haines, previously said: "She is a troubled young person with a number of serious issues.

“17 days before this occurred, she had been sentenced to a community order for not dissimilar offences.

“There was a loss of composure and loss of control.”

Haines also denied a charge of being drunk but Mr Saxby told the court: "There is no question she was drunk, but the charge of endangering an aircraft was the ‘more serious alternative'."

An earlier hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court heard how Haines tried to open doors.

During the fracas she scratched cabin crew member Charley Coombe as she was brought under control.

Prosecutor Katharine Houghton told the earlier hearing how Haines stood up shortly after takeoff and threatened cabin crew.

She said: “She was told to sit back down, she appeared intoxicated and told cabin crew to ‘f*** off’ and then tried to open the flight door and emergency exit door.

“She was restrained by cabin crew and passengers but was shouting ‘I'm going to kill everyone, you are all going to die’.”

Haines, who is now in an Alcoholics Anonymous programme, was arrested by Essex Police when the plane returned to the UK.

Following the incident on June 22, Jet2 said that Haines had been hit with both an £85,000 bill and a lifetime ban.

Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: "As a family friendly airline, we take an absolutely zero tolerance approach to disruptive behaviour."

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