The passenger allegedly hit a flight attendant in the face. Photo / 123rf
A few drinks on a United Airlines flight to Tokyo cost a single passenger more than $ 70,000 after he became disorganized and threatened to kill a flight attendant.
Seksan Kumtong, now 52, has behaved strangely since he boarded a United Airlines plane from Los Angeles to Narita, Japan, last February.
According to Brendan Ryan, an FBI special agent in Anchorage, who wrote in an affidavit supporting a criminal complaint, Comtong allegedly began acting shortly after taking off from LAX, when a crew member saw him “knock on the bathroom doors of the airport”.
The flight attendant tried to direct Kumtong to a different break room, and at the time he tried, but was unable, to pressure the crew members, according to an Anchorage Daily News article published in February.
According to Fox News, Kumtong finally returned to his seat and fell asleep after being deprived of more alcohol.
When he woke up, he asked for more alcoholic beverages, but refused. He then began to curse loudly before punching the flight attendant in the face and attempting to carry the crew to the floor of the plane.
At one point, Comtong also yelled, “I’m going to kill you,” according to FBI testimony.
The crew and passengers scrambled to contain the annoying traveler before the flight was diverted to Anchorage, Alaska.
“The plane landed safely and was greeted by local officials,” United wrote in a statement issued in February, referring to the Comtong as a “disabled passenger.”
Passengers received meal vouchers upon arrival in Anchorage and hotel accommodations for the plane’s staff and 214 passengers on board, according to the verdict. The cost of conversion was $ 69,100.
Before Tuesday’s ruling, Comtong, of North Hollywood, California, pleaded guilty to interfering with the cabin crew.
Kumtung’s lawyer said his client has suffered from diabetes for years. The lawyer said that his state of health, combined with the consumption of alcohol, had caused “a sharp drop in blood sugar and a subsequent fight.”
He said the reaction, in this case, was not an excuse, but it explains in part why he acted with such force.