Flying low

Pilot diverts plane after homophobic rant from drunk passenger to cabin crew

An airline pilot in a cockpit
Posed by model (Photo: Shutterstock)

A British woman has been faced with a swift fine of €1,500 ($1,850) after her drunken, homophobic aggression forced an airline pilot to bring a plane down early.

The woman in question was flying from Spain’s Canary Islands on Sunday (December 27). The Irish Mirror reports Gemma Campbell, 33, from Elston Road in Manchester, UK, was flying back to the UK from Fuertaventura aboard a Jet2 plane.

However, her behavior became abusive during the flight. This included repeatedly calling a member of the cabin crew a “faggot.”

It continued even after she was moved to a different section of the plane. So bad was Campbell’s behavior, the pilot decided to land the plane in Cork, Ireland, as he feared Campbell posed a danger to those on board.

Related: Flight attendant demands more paid time off then sues airline after pilot calls him “hot” on Grindr

Once landed, Campbell was arrested by cops and later charged on two counts: Being intoxicated to such an extent as to give rise to fears that she might endanger herself or other persons on board the flight, and engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behavior with intent to cause or being reckless to causing a breach of the peace.

She appeared in court at a special sitting on Monday. She pleaded guilty to both charges.

Her barrister, Emmet Boyle, said Campbell was keen to put the matter behind her and was deeply remorseful and embarrassed by her behavior.

The court was told that Campbell had begun drinking before leaving for the airport and had continued aboard the flight. The cabin crew found an empty vodka bottle beneath her seat.

Campbell, who has no previous convictions, apologized deeply for her behavior.

Noting her use of “homophobic slurs”, and the inconvenience cause to the plane’s passengers by having to land in Cork, Judge Colm Roberts fined her €500 for the first offense and €1,000 for the second.

Related: Man punches bus passenger and says “I hate gay people”

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