Rowdy Passengers "Chewed Through Restraints"
Air Canada officials told authorities that two rowdy passengers who caused the diversion of a Toronto-Beijing flight last week actually chewed through the restraints used by the crew and passengers to subdue them. The Vancouver Sun quotes CBC News as saying the pair, a couple of IT executives on a business trip, were so out of hand that the captain ordered the cabin "locked down" for 80 minutes as they made a run for the nearest airport, Vancouver International, to offload the troublemakers. George Campbell, 45, and Paul Wilson, 38, were immediately hauled before a judge where they pleaded guilty to mischief and were ordered to pay $72,000 in restitution. However, Air Canada has tallied up its expenses and estimates the fiasco cost it $200,000, not including a roughed-up flight attendant and a planeload of upset passengers.
According to court documents obtained by the CBC, both men were apparently drunk before they got on the flight and continued to alternate between drinking, passing out and making pests of themselves. At one point, the documents say, Campbell threatened to kill other passengers as they left the plane and he also laid in the aisle "kicking his feet." It took several cabin crew and passengers to subdue them and handcuff them with plastic restraints and tape to temporarily restore order. The court records say they both "eventually chewed their way through their restraints." They were subdued again and guarded by crew and passengers while all other passengers were ordered to remain in their seats until landing. Campbell and Wilson worked for Blackberry smartphone maker Research in Motion and live in the company's base of Waterloo, Ontario. The company fired them within days of the episode, saying the antics didn't reflect RIM's "standards of business behavior." The CBC managed to reach Campbell but he did not comment.