Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut March 19, 2014 - 3:57 pm

Drunk, unruly passenger accosts flight attendant, delays flight

Woman charged with mischief in Kugluktuk March 13

SARAH ROGERS
A female passenger who had been drinking injured a stewardess on a Canadian North Dash 8 flight to the Kitikmeot region last week. (FILE PHOTO)
A female passenger who had been drinking injured a stewardess on a Canadian North Dash 8 flight to the Kitikmeot region last week. (FILE PHOTO)

Canadian North said it will be more vigilant after a drunken and unruly passenger injured a flight attendant and caused a four-hour delay for other passengers en route to Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region last week.

Canadian North spokesman Scott Weatherall said the airline believes a female passenger snuck alcohol onto its March 13 flight from Yellowknife to Kugluktuk. Its Dash-8 flight does not serve alcoholic beverages to passengers.

“This passenger proceeded to go to the bathroom on the aircraft to drink,” Weatherall said, “and became very disorderly and injured one of our flight attendants.”

The woman had to be restrained by the flight’s first officer until the plane landed in Kugluktuk. Local members of the RCMP detachment met the flight at the airport, took the passenger off the plane and charged her with mischief.

Weatherall said a second passenger aboard the same flight had also been drinking, but was not charged.

Because a flight attendant was accosted during the flight, Weatherall said the plane had to travel back to Yellowknife and pick up another flight attendant to work the flight, which was scheduled to fly on to Cambridge Bay.

That left the 20-odd passengers stranded at the Kugluktuk airport for more than four hours, he said.

CATSA does not screen passengers heading to Nunavut from Yellowknife, Weatherall explained, leaving it up to Canadian North staff to ensure passengers are well behaved and not carrying items that could interfere with the safety of other passengers.

“We followed all procedures, but the passenger did not show signs that she had been drinking beforehand,” Weatherall said. ‘We’re being more vigilant now.”

The airline’s flight attendant is fine, he added, although she has yet to return to work.

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