An easyJet passenger who admitted being drunk, violent and abusive on a return flight has been jailed for 16 months.
David Nolan, 23, was told by the judge: “You’re the type of passenger all air travellers dread: drunk, abusive, aggressive, racist and violent.
“The experience of a drunk person within the confines of an aircraft is terrifying,” added Judge Mark van der Zwart.
Nolan admitted three offences of racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence and one offence of being drunk on an aircraft on the return flight from Hurghada, shortly before it landed at Gatwick in January 2020.
Lewes Crown Court heard one woman who was verbally abused by Nolan said she’d been left scared and unable to sleep properly, while a witness described watching his behaviour as ‘disorderly, erratic, like being in a zoo’.
He threatened to ‘smash’ his partner’s ‘face in’ and ‘hurled a volley of racial abuse’ at a fellow passenger who politely asked him to sit down.
Local newspaper The Argus reported Nolan pleaded with the judge for a final reprieve, but was told only a prison term could be justified.
In a statement, easyJet said: “EasyJet is aware of the court case regarding a disruptive passenger on a flight from Egypt last year and are pleased that the court has recognised the seriousness of their offence.
“Whilst they are rare, easyJet takes all incidents of disruptive behaviour very seriously. We have a duty to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all of our passengers and crew.
“Our crew are trained to assess and evaluate all incidents and act quickly and appropriately.”