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.
‘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.