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Business Class Passenger Booted Off Plane After Warning Cabin Crew Not To Look At Her For Nine Hours
Air rage is at an all-time high, and this latest incident is no exception. Daniele De Matos, a software company concierge had plans to fly from Sydney, Australia to Honolulu, Hawaii for work, however, a series of moody moments led to her getting kicked off the Hawaiian Airlines flight.
According to Daily Mail, travel troubles began upon boarding when the cabin crew directed the 36-year-old to an economy seat, prompting the accused to verbally abuse staff members.
The cabin crew realized they made a mistake, as De Matos booked a business class ticket, and directed her to the correct seat where she calmed down.
“Shortly after, cabin crew took an alcoholic drink prematurely which caused the accused to become verbally abusive towards that staff member,” according to documents tendered in Downing Centre Local Court.
“The accused mood changed quickly, and she was apologetic and remorseful after this.”
It wasn’t long before her improved mood shifted yet again.
As the plane started its taxi toward the runway, De Matos began “staring down” the crew member who had previously taken her drink while she was performing the inflight safety demonstration.
The stare-down left the stewardess feeling intimidated but according to the statement of facts, this is where things get interesting.
“Shortly after the demonstration concluded, the accused ordered the cabin crew not to look at her for nine hours,” it said.
Over Before It Began
“As a result of these interactions, the cabin crew advised the captain of the accused’s behavior. The captain formed the view that the accused’s erratic and disorderly behavior presented a risk to the safety of the aircraft”.
The captain decided it was best to return the aircraft to the terminal to offload De Matos. Another female cabin crew member approached her to explain what was going on, which you can imagine was not well-received.
“During this, she placed her hand on the accused’s shoulder to calm her, which caused the accused to act aggressively towards the crew member,” the statement of facts said.
De Santos’ time on the plane lasted all of 45 minutes before Hawaiian Airlines airport operations staff came on board to order De Matos off the aircraft. Upon refusal to vacate the plane, they called the airport police for help.
When Australian Federal Police officers came to take De Matos away she was ‘belligerent’ but eventually walked off the plane of her own accord. De Matos’ actions delayed the flight for more than an hour, however, upon debarkation she was arrested and charged.
De Matos pleaded guilty to one count of behaving in an offensive or disorderly manner affecting safety when she appeared before magistrate Theo Tsavdaridis on Monday.
Tsavdaridis convicted De Matos and fined her $600.
Australian Federal Police Are Fed Up
TN previously reported on the increased stress cabin crew are experiencing at the hands of unruly passengers.
De Matos’s arrest came two weeks after police warned passengers that displays of offensive, violent, and disruptive behavior would not be tolerated in the air or on the ground as passenger numbers continue to increase.
AFP Detective Superintendent Morgen Blunden said the agency could not be more clear in warning the public that police had zero tolerance for anti-social, dangerous, or violent behavior at airports.
“We are once again reminding the public to act considerably at airports and treat other passengers and staff members with respect,” Detective Superintendent Blunden said.
“There is no excuse for this type of behavior and those who choose to act in an anti-social or aggressive manner will be held to account.”