Qantas Passenger Costs Airline $120,000 for Diverted Landing

Qantas Boeing 747

Qantas Boeing 747

A passenger cost Qantas roughly $120,000 when the flight he was on had to divert for an emergency landing.

The man, 34 year-old Justin Richard Cooke, was alleged to have lit a cigarette in the plane’s bathroom and then assaulted a cabin crew member when confronted in the incident which occurred on December 17th.

Couriermail reports:

‘The court was told the pilots on flight QF21 [a Boeing 747] to Tokyo had to dump 60,000 litres of fuel before the plane with 350 passengers on board could land at Cairns International Airport, which wasclosed at the time and had to reopen to facilitate the emergency landing at 1.45am.

“I am informed by the Australian Federal Police this incident cost Qantas about $120,000,” Commonwealth prosecutor Audra Meginyte said.

The drama unfolded about 30 minutes into the flight as Cooke became heavily intoxicated, drinking from a bottle of vodka he brought on to the aircraft. He became agitated when cabin crew confronted him for lighting a cigarette, Ms Meginyte said.

“The defendant then punched a cabin manager in the chest,” Ms Meginyte said.

He was restrained but spat in the eyes of the cabin crew manager.

The court heard Mr Cooke registered a blood-alcohol reading of 0.300 per cent when he was arrested by the AFP.’

Cooke faces four charges which include lighting a cigarette on an aircraft, behaving in an offensive matter, assault and acts threatening the safety of persons in an aircraft.



      • vandyke says

        In your mind, in mine it was a completely over-blown reaction.
        If trained cabin crew had him restrained Singapore or somewhere else on the Route makes more sense.
        Another example of why Qantas is dying.

    • Exuma Guy says

      A blood alcohol level of .300% combined with an 8000′ cabin altitude can cause death from acute alcohol poisoning. He punched a crew-member which demonstrates that he is a threat to everyone on board. Even if restrained, he will cause quite an unpleasantness for the other passengers. The captain followed airline protocol for a level 3 threat, as would I. The court should order him to make reparations. Maybe that would cure his addiction.

    • says

      looks like he was all ready high 30 mins wont get you out of control….should have opened the rear door strapped on a parachute with a message Merry Christmas Safe landing.

      • James says

        He should be charged the cost to the airlines he has caused… And then banned from air travel for the 10-20 years…. That way he’ll actually realise the seriousness of what he did on the aircraft

  1. Jim says

    “Cooke faces four charges which include behaving in an offensive matter.” I like the sound of that one! And, who gets to decide?

  2. Dave Blevins says

    I think all attendants should carry sidearms, for one, and be able to use zip ties(or metal handcuffs), on those that cannot be decent.
    And how long does it take to get intoxicated from drinking on that bottle anyway? The flight was only 30 minutes in the air???? I think someone should have never let him board the plane.

    • says

      Sidearms – perfect for terrorists to grab. Why bother screaning passengers when you just leave the guns on the plane?

      Aircraft do carry handcuffs and zip ties. the captain has the final authority on if they are used though.

      • Gonzalo says

        I think they are forbiden…in case of crashing of landing at sea the pasenger woulsn’t be able of swimmimg etc. Forbiden for safety reasons

  3. Gary says

    Run the cabin pressure to 15,000 or 20,000 for a couple minutes (at least to where the O2 masks don’t drop out of the ceiling). Once this type drunken joker passes out; restrain him hand and foot in a seat. until destination. PS: Don’t forget to take his booze and cigs away from him.

    BTW – Why hasn’t this proceedure been used on a real hijacking? I’m sure there are a variety of “reasons” out there.

  4. M S Sheikh says

    People should not be allowed to take alcoholic drinks into the aircraft. Alcohol served to the passengers should also be controlled. But then what about the passenger who boards the flight already nearly full of …..?

  5. Bill Young says

    Secure him with a few seat belts (after knocking him out) and continue the flight. Maybe charge passengers $2.00 US each for pissing on the idiot.

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