Aviation

Trans-Tasman flyer charged for threatening to blow up plane over wine spat

An airline passenger has been charged for threatening to blow up a plane because she was told her ticket didn’t cover wine.

Crew on Air New Zealand flight from Melbourne to Auckland were forced to restrain a woman on 7 November last year after she became abusive violent towards airline staff.

According to Stuff, 31-year-old Hannah Lee Pierson asked for a glass of wine during food and beverage service of the three-and-a-half-hour flight and was told her ticket didn’t cover wine and that she would have to purchase it off the menu.

Pierson reportedly reacted by verbally abusing the cabin crew and yelling “I don’t give a f***, get me a f****** wine”.

She then tried to leave her seat, yelling “I’ll f****** get it myself, give me a f****** wine” and calling the crew member who was serving her a “f****** b****”.

Crew members responded to the situation by seating Pierson in an empty row and holding her there until she grabbed a crew member’s arm in a tight grip, and looked like she was going to headbutt them before threatening to blow up the plane if they didn’t get her a glass of wine.

Pierson was handcuffed and strapped to her seat using spare seatbelts while she called a crew member a “f****** rapist” and continued to scream obscenities until she fell asleep.

She pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour and disruptive conduct towards a crew member at the Christchurch District Court last week.

Pierson’s lawyer told the court that his client had had issues with alcohol in the past and said she would apply for a discharge without conviction to avoid travel consequences, according to The New Zealand Herald.

Judge Alastair Garland said he thought airlines would be “quite happy” if Pierson was no longer able to travel and asked for a drug and alcohol assessment.

Pierson will remain in custody on bail until sentencing on 23 June.

Air New Zealand declined Travel Weekly’s request for comment.


Featured image source: iStock/FotografiaBasica

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