A passenger who was yelling and have become bodily aggressive on a United Airlines flight from London to Newark in March, prompting the crew to divert the aircraft to Bangor, Maine, has been ordered to pay the airline $20,638 in restitution, federal prosecutors mentioned.

The passenger, Alexander Michael Dominic MacDonald, 30, of Chelmsford, England, was additionally sentenced on April 25 to time already served, prosecutors mentioned.

Mr. MacDonald had been in custody since March 1, when he was arrested after his flight landed at Bangor Worldwide Airport. He pleaded responsible on March 22 to 1 depend of interfering with a flight crew, a felony punishable by as much as 20 years in jail.

“He apologized for his actions in court and looks forward to returning home to his family in England,” Mr. MacDonald’s lawyer, Matthew D. Morgan, mentioned in an e-mail on Tuesday.

Based on an F.B.I. affidavit, about 160 passengers and 10 crew members have been aboard United Airlines Flight 883, which left Heathrow Airport close to London on the morning of March 1 and was headed to Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport in New Jersey.

A number of hours into the flight, the purser, or lead flight attendant, heard Mr. MacDonald “arguing loudly” along with his girlfriend and requested him to decrease his voice, the affidavit says. He agreed to take action, however minutes later the purser discovered him yelling once more, this time at one other flight attendant, the affidavit says.

The purser tried to calm Mr. MacDonald down however he “would not listen and continued to be verbally and physically aggressive,” in keeping with the affidavit. Mr. MacDonald requested the purser if he needed to “have a problem” and threatened to “mess up the plane,” the affidavit states. He additionally put his palms on the purser’s shoulders as he backed the purser right into a nook, the doc says.

With the assistance of one other passenger, the purser restrained Mr. MacDonald in versatile handcuffs, however he “continued to be noncompliant” and the purser decided that the aircraft wanted to land “for the safety of the crew,” the affidavit states. The captain additionally believed that persevering with to fly to Newark “was too great a risk,” the affidavit states.

United Airlines mentioned in a press release that the aircraft landed in Bangor so the “police could remove two disruptive customers who appeared to be intoxicated.” The assertion didn’t establish these passengers however mentioned that they had each been banned from flying on United Airlines. After the passengers have been faraway from the aircraft, it continued on to Newark.

The variety of incidents involving unruly passengers on airplanes has dropped steadily because it reached file highs in 2021, when passengers returning to the skies amid the easing of coronavirus restrictions reported frequent and disruptive habits, together with many heated disputes over masks guidelines.

In January 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration launched a “zero-tolerance policy” concerning unruly passengers, leading to hefty fines as an alternative of the warning letters or counseling that have been used beforehand. The company mentioned it had obtained 2,075 studies of unruly passengers final 12 months, in comparison with 2,455 in 2022 and 5,973 in 2021.