Woman banned from Jet2.com airline for life after alleged abusive antics forced New Year flight to be diverted

A woman is facing legal action and has been banned from an airline for life after her behaviour forced an aircraft to divert.
A Jet2.com aircraft.A Jet2.com aircraft.
A Jet2.com aircraft.

Claire Sanderson's alleged "aggressive and abusive" behaviour on a New Year’s Day 2016 flight from Tenerife to Newcastle forced the Jet2.com plane she was travelling on to divert to Shannon Airport in the West of Ireland to protect the safety of both passengers and crew.

Jet2.com said the pilot took the decision because Sanderson, 42, from Sunderland, had become so disruptive and offensive he felt the action was needed to protect the safety of both passengers and crew.

She was offloaded and handed over to police in Ireland.

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Phil Ward, managing director of Jet2.com, said: “Our Onboard Together initiative commits us to a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour on our flights. Our customers look forward to an enjoyable flight experience with us and we will not let a disruptive few spoil this. We will take whatever action necessary to stamp it out.

“Mrs Sanderson showed no respect to our cabin crew or fellow passengers. Not only did she compromise their comfort and safety she also caused an unnecessary delay to customers returning home from their festive holidays.

"These delays also impact on Jet2.com financially so we will continue to actively pursue reimbursement of our costs. Passengers should be in no doubt that the consequences of abusive and unruly behaviour onboard aircraft do lead to custodial and financial penalties.”

More than 460 passengers have been refused travel due to disruptive behaviour since Jet2.com launched Onboard Together, and 56 of these have been given lifetime bans.

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Mr Ward added: “Disruptive passenger behaviour is an ongoing issue that needs tackling for the good of the vast majority of all customers, as well as my crew and colleagues.

"We are working closely with airlines, airports, trade associations and other industry partners to create a consistent and robust response to this issue. We are also actively consulting with government bodies and MPs to make them aware of the problem.”

In addition to taking action to recover costs incurred by the divert, Jet2.com has also given Mrs Sanderson a lifetime ban.