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Air Canada Flight Diverts After Pax Assaults FA and Tries to Open Aft Door

The flight from Jamaica to Toronto made an unscheduled stop in Orlando following the violent midair meltdown on Monday evening.

An Air Canada passenger was arrested at Orlando International Airport (MCO) following a bizarre tirade during a flight from Sangster International Airport (MBJ) to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). The captain was forced to make an unscheduled stop after 33-year-old Brandon Michael Courneyea allegedly attempted to open the rear exit of the aircraft. According to charging documents, the out-of-control passenger assaulted a flight attendant in his desperation to pry open the hatch.

Eyewitnesses say that the inconsolable flyer may have been disturbed by some minor turbulence during the flight. Despite attempts to calm him, the agitated man reportedly threw a wad of paper at a seatmate for “looking at him.” Those on the flight say that Courneyea then attacked passengers and crew members with pots of hot coffee while shouting threats.

“Courneyea then stated that it would only take one guy to take the plane down and that he wanted to take everyone with him,” according to a criminal complaint filed in a US federal courtroom. The report says that Courneyea was eventually restrained by flight attendants and tied to his seat with zip ties.

Courneyea’s wife, who remained in Canada to care for the couple’s children, says that her husband’s behavior was very much out of character.

“That is not my husband at all,” Amanda Courneyea insisted in a phone interview with the The Canadian Press. ”There’s a lot more to what brought that on, because my husband is the kindest, most loving man you’ll ever meet. And anybody that knows him will tell you the same thing.”

Courneyea told reporters that the first sign of trouble was when her husband called from Jamaica telling her that the locals were “trying to kill him.” She says that she started to become concerned his “bucket list” trip was taking an ugly turn and asked him to take an earlier flight home. At last report, Courneyea hadn’t yet been allowed to speak with her husband who was being held in the US. She told local media outlets that she fears that he may be in the midst of a mental health crisis or worse.

Air Canada officials confirmed the incident, but cautioned that passengers were never in danger, noting that the door of a commercial passenger jet cannot be opened while the plane is in flight. “Air Canada Rouge flight 1805, en route from Montego Bay to Toronto Monday night, diverted to Orlando due to an unruly passenger.” an airline spokesperson told Fortune. “Our crew are trained to respond to such situations and followed standard procedures to ensure the continued safe operation of the flight. Our Captain diverted the flight to Orlando where it landed safely.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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2 Comments
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AAJetMan May 21, 2017

How many days until a lawsuit emerges on this?

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Asknorm May 20, 2017

Why would someone even consider this idiotic concept? Are you people fricking goofy? Have you been on a plane or traveled lately? This is not going to stop anything and in fact it will escalate the tempers. " I paid to have my seat be able to recline" is the answer that no one wants to hear, say or pay for when on a plane. Stop with the fricking studies and nickel and dime suggestions. Enough.