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May 28, 2024
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Passenger who disrupted flight ordered to pay United Airlines more than $20,000

An unruly passenger who was “physically combative” on a flight last month has been ordered to pay more $20,000 to United Airlines, according to court documents.

Alexander Michael Dominic MacDonald was on Flight 883 headed to Newark from London on March 1 when a crew member heard him arguing loudly with his girlfriend, the document state. He was asked to lower his voice and complied — but a few minutes later, he was heard yelling loudly at a flight attendant, the complaint states.

It’s not clear what happened between MacDonald and the attendant prior to him yelling.

An attorney for MacDonald did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A crew member stood between the flight attendant and MacDonald, and attempted to calm him down, the documents state. MacDonald “continued to be verbally and physically aggressive,” asking the crew member “if he would like to ‘have a problem?'” according to the complaint.

MacDonald is also accused of threatening to “mess up the plane” and putting his hands on the crew member’s shoulders, backing them into a corner.

The passenger was placed in flex cuffs by the crew member with the help of another passenger, according to the court documents, and continued to be “non-compliant,” refusing to stay in the crew rest seat he was placed in.

About five hours later, the captain decided to divert the plane to Maine because “MacDonald’s conduct was a threat to the safety of the crew and passengers,” the complaint states.

There were approximately 160 passengers and 10 crew members onboard the flight.

United Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

MacDonald was arrested and accused of assault and interference with flight crew members and attendants. He pled guilty to the latter charge and was ordered to pay $20,638 to United Airlines in restitution.

According to a court document, he remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service “for the transfer to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the purposes of deportation.”

Mirna Alsharif

Breaking news reporter

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