Drunken Passenger Faces Steep Fine for Vaping and Violence on a Plane
Passengers on a flight from London to Florida had an unexpected stop in Ireland this week when the airline had to make an emergency landing. It all began when the airline staff noticed a smoky mist coming from the bathroom. When they went to investigate, they found Jody Bochner, an American man, using an electronic cigarette. Things escalated as Bochner was obviously intoxicated and became violent towards the staff.
According to reports, Bochner was returning to his home in Fort Lauderdale after visiting his girlfriend in London. He said he had been drinking to help himself fall asleep on the flight. Unfortunately, he didn’t fall right to sleep and instead the confrontation over the ecig escalated over the next twenty minutes. At one point, he tried to hit a crew member and fellow passengers had to help restrain him so he could be handcuffed. The pilot decided it would be best to land the plane at Shannon Airport and deal with the unruly passenger on the ground.
A spokesman for Norwegian confirmed that the passengers and crew were safe when they landed. “There were 247 passengers on board this flight. Our crew and our passengers should always feels safe when they are flying, safety is Norwegian’s first priority. In this case, the passenger acted threatening which is unacceptable. We have zero tolerance for such behavior, which is why we chose to divert and let the police take care of the passenger.”
Despite the extra stop, the flight was only two hours behind schedule when it landed in Florida. However, the diversion cost the airline $111,000. As for Bochner, he was charged with threatening and abusive behavior, being intoxicated, and failing to obey directions for the cabin crew.
Bochner appeared before Limerick District Court to account for his actions on the plan. Garda Walsh reported that when he disembarked from the plane, he smelled like alcohol and was very aggressive. But by the next morning, he was completely different and had no recollection of his actions the previous day. Ultimately, he was fined 1000 Euros for his offense, but then he was freed to return to the United States.
It was certainly an exciting flight, but it’s also an important reminder to vapers who travel frequently. Don’t vape on the plane! Follow airline rules and wait to enjoy your ecig when you land.