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Drunken, Violent Flyer Dubbed “Worst Passenger Ever” After Outburst

Drunken, Violent Flyer Dubbed “Worst Passenger Ever” After Outburst
Jackie Reddy

Helen Butcher, who was flying from Manchester Airport (MAN) to the island of Kos, had consumed spirits before her violent outburst, which began after she was unable to find space for her bags in the overhead compartment of her Thomson flight. Her outburst saw her punch and grab staff and has now resulted in her being placed in jail.

A drunken passenger who unleashed a verbal and physical assault on cabin crew onboard a Thomson flight last month has been sentenced to 21 weeks in jail, the Daily Star reports. The incident, which involved Helen Butcher, a 51-year-old passenger, took place on June 27th as the flight was en route to the Greek isle of Kos from Manchester Airport (MAN).

It is reported that Butcher consumed both vodka and gin prior to her tirade, which began when she was unable to find room for her luggage in the plane’s overhead compartment area.

Butcher is said to have cursed and physically attacked the crew, punching a member of staff in the genital area. She was eventually given a warning note from the flight’s pilot, something that only served to further arouse her violent behavior. After being handed the note, Butcher is said to have grabbed another member of staff by the face.

Butcher was arrested by local Greek police upon her arrival to the island.

Shay Kelly offered up eyewitness testimony of the incident and was quoted as saying, “In 20 years experience on board aircraft, this person was the worst passenger I have ever dealt with.”

Butcher was placed into custody on Monday. According to the outlet, she admitted to, “two counts of assault by beating, being intoxicated on an aircraft and using threatening behavior.”

Raquel Simpson, Butcher’s legal counsel, explained how the woman had become dependent on alcohol after the death of her father. However, she added that, “Miss Butcher accepts that her behavior was appalling and she apologizes through me to the Thomson crew and to the passengers who were affected.”

Passing his sentence Judge David Stockdale QC (Queen’s Counsel), spoke directly to Butcher, saying, “The location of these offenses was on board a flight while the aircraft was in the air, children were present and you failed to respond to warnings.”

He added, “The distress caused by drunken behavior on a flight is all too obvious. That distress is intensified if cabin crew are assaulted. All those on board were put at risk.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (4)


  1. DragonSoul

    July 31, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    She can walk back to Manchester! (And yes, I know Kos is an island.)

  2. KLBGO

    August 1, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Meh, “worst passenger ever” have to be Mohamed Atta.

  3. strickerj

    August 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    “Worst passenger ever” probably won’t even make Flyertalk’s Worst Passenger of the Week. ;)

    As an aside, if she feels so bad about it after the fact, why doesn’t she apologize personally rather than having her lawyer do it?

  4. ioto1902

    August 1, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Enough of those drunken pax misbehaving. No excuses. Ban them (temporary) from flying immediately. Whether they are out of home or not, we don’t care.

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