‘Plane truth’: here’s what to not to do aboard an aircraft this holiday season

If you plan to travel by plane, behaving badly could result in serious consequences.
If you plan to travel by plane, behaving badly could result in serious consequences. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Cassese)

It’s the holiday season and the time is approaching when the kids are off school and families decide to travel. If you plan to travel by plane, be aware that if you behave badly, it could result in serious consequences.

This was the case with two Canadian women who displayed “obnoxious and unruly behaviour” on a flight from Toronto to Cuba. Their terrible behaviour — smoking in the washroom and uttering a bomb threat — led to the plane having to turn back. The women were arrested, charged with mischief and were recently sentenced to conditional discharges and steep fines.

To demonstrate why it’s truly a bad idea to misbehave on an airplane here are the top five reasons why not to go wild on an airplane:

  1. Criminal records are hard to get rid of

    Misbehaving on a plane could not only see you arrested and end up in jail but also gain a criminal record. If you have been convicted of a crime, for a charge of mischief for example, you will likely have a criminal record. This could not only negatively impact your employment but getting rid of a criminal record also takes years.

  2. Joining the “mile-high club” could land you in jail

    This may be an item on your bucket list, because it’s fun and daring but it would be a good idea to scratch it off. In Canada, having sex on an airplane could see you charged with committing an indecent act. The punishment could be between six months to two years in jail.

  3. You may be banned from future travel

    Criminal charges and fines aside, obnoxious behaviour while traveling could result in airlines banning you from flying with them. This was the case for two Blackberry executives, who after unruly and belligerent behaviour were arrested, fired, received a suspended sentence and fines. They were also banned from flying with Air Canada.

  4. You’ll be hit in the pocket

    Fines are almost a given in cases in which passengers behave badly. They’re not cheap either. In the case of the two women whose misbehaviour forced their flight to turn back, they were each sentenced to pay $500 in fines and $7,500 in restitution. In the case of the executives, they were each fined $10,528.

  5. You could be “passenger shamed”
  6. Smartphones are more than capable of recording long videos, including videos of you being naughty. Those videos often make it onto Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and a person could end up “passenger shamed”. Such images don’t just embarrass yourself but your family for a long time and they have the potential to stay up on social media forever.

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