Travel News

Passenger Ordered to Pay Airline $97,000 For Interfering with the Flight Crew

fantastic family trip
Written by Charlie

A disruptive passenger was just ordered to pay the airline almost $100,000 for what his actions caused. Hopefully, this action will prevent future passengers from causing such disruptions as well.

After hearing a lot this year about airlines taking the blame for some bad behavior by employees and others working on their behalf, here is a story about a passenger that was told to pay almost $100,000 for interfering with the flight crew.

Passenger Ordered to Pay Airline $97,000 For Interfering with Flight Crew

The passenger, James August, pleaded guilty “to interfering with flight crew members and attendants in February.” The judge ruled that this passenger must pay Hawaiian Airlines of almost $100,000 for this. The actual incident took place in November of 2016 but he pleaded guilty in February.

The passenger had been drinking before the flight to New York from Hawaii and drank more of his personal alcohol he brought on board. He was returning to New York after vacationing with his girlfriend and her children. Here is the account of what caused this huge fine to be issued against him:

During the meal service, his girlfriend’s son told a flight attendant he had insulted the children and threatened their lives.

When the attendant asked him to go to another part of the plane, he whacked her on the shoulder with the back of his hand and other passengers had to help restrain him.

Authorities said August then yelled, swore and threatened to punch his girlfriend in the face.” from the NY Post

The fine is due to the costs incurred by Hawaiian Airlines for the return of the aircraft that they were forced to make because of the incident. According to the story, the almost $100,000 amount does not cover $46,900 in food vouchers that Hawaiian Airlines gave to the passengers during the delay (which would average over $150 per person if the plane had been at capacity).


It is good to see a passenger being held responsible for this type of behavior. If the airlines and airline personnel are held responsible when they act inappropriately, the passengers should be held equally responsible for behavior that affects everyone in this manner.

What do you think of this amount for the fine?

HT: NY Post

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.