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Unruly Flyer to Pay United $20,638 for Diversion

A flyer who plead guilty to interfering with a flight crew will be on the hook for paying United Airlines for diverting his flight from the U.K. to Newark after threatening to “mess up the plane.”
A British national who has been held in custody since his arrest in the U.S. will be responsible for paying restitution to United Airlines after he caused a diversion.


The U.S. Department of Justice announced 30-year-old Alexander Michael Dominic MacDonald will pay the carrier $20,638 for causing the disturbance which led to his arrest.


Fight With Companion Started Events to Cause Diversion

According to the Justice Department, the incident began aboard a flight on March 1, 2024 between a flight from London to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). MacDonald began loudly arguing with his traveling companion after they entered the U.S. airspace. The argument ultimately created a disturbance, which caused the flight crew to get involved.


The flight attendants asked MacDonald to quiet down and tried to calm him down from the incident. Instead of complying, he became even more belligerent. The Justice Department says he became “threatening and intimidating” towards the crew.


The disturbance forced the international purser to get involved in the disturbance, at which point MacDonald said he would “mess up the plane.” After continued disturbance, the decision was made to handcuff the flyer and divert the flight from its planned destination in Newark to Bangor International Airport (BGR) in Maine.


MacDonald was held in custody until his sentencing on April 25, 2024. Although he will not be held in jail or prison any further (he was sentenced to time served), he is obligated to repay $20,638 to United Airlines for the diversion.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Customs and Border Protection, and the Bangor Police Department were all involved in the case.

health1au May 5, 2024

He saved everyone from having to go to Newark!! He's a hero!
Seriously, however, he'll just go home and never return to the USA in lieu of ever paying $20K. 


Being a foriegn national they should have held him until the restitution was paid. 

dhturk May 3, 2024

What about restitution to any airline passenger who incurred additional financial costs for missed/delayed connections, and/or late arrival.