A Virgin Atlantic passenger has been issued a lifetime ban from the company after engaging in a drunken fight with a flight attendant and assaulting a police officer.
Lauren Johnson, a British national and the wife of a Dubai-based restaurateur, was flying from Dubai to Heathrow on June 17. According to the Evening Standard, Johnson began drinking during the flight and allegedly told a stewardess, “You wear too much make-up. Look at you, you old hag, old slag covered in fake tan.”
As the plane was nearing Heathrow, a flight attendant reportedly heard banging on the cockpit door.
Addressing the U.K.-based court on Monday, prosecutor Neil Guest said that Johnson was on the other side trying to get in.
“On the other side was this defendant holding a child and she said, ‘My baby wants to wave to the captain.’ This was not allowed. Later, the same attendant saw Mrs Johnson standing up with her child as the plane approached Heathrow. She was asked to sit down and replied, ‘I won’t f***ing sit down. I need to find my husband.’ ” Johnson then allegedly told her husband: “I’m going to punch her in the face.”
Upon landing Johnson continued to swear and wave her arms around. Her husband reportedly covered his wife’s mouth with his hands in an effort to keep her subdued. But police were called to the gate and escorted Johnson off the flight.
"She was still shouting and being abusive and had to be handcuffed and lifted up by the officers because she refused to walk,” Guest told the court. After arriving at the police station, Johnson hit a policewoman on the chin.
Johnson, a first-time offender plead guilty to being drunk on an aircraft and assaulting the officer. In court she called the behavior “completely out of character.”
“We travel at least once a month and I have never done anything like this before,” said Johnson. According to the Mirror, she also told the court she had been issued a lifetime ban from Virgin over the incident.
At sentencing, Judge Robin Johnson told the defendant, “Those who get drunk on an airplane and abuse staff often go to prison. The only thing saving you is that when you were violent it was after you left the plane. If it was on the plane you would have gone to prison.”
He also warned her to stay clear of alcohol on her next trip.
Johnson received a jail sentence of four months, and was fined over $5,870 and ordered to pay additional compensation to the injured officer and other parties.