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Man Forced To Pay Airline Nearly $100K For Disruptive Behavior.

A passenger who forced a November flight from New York to Honolulu to turn around was ordered to pay the airline $97,817 this week. New Jersey resident James August's disruptive behavior included threatening to cut his girlfriend's throat, name-calling her children and slapping a flight attendant's shoulder with the back of his hand.

On Monday, a federal judge ruled that August must pay costs the airline accrued for the return trip back to Hawaii, the ( Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported . The costs incurred included fuel, maintenance, various landing and re-stocking fees and overhead for the airline's ground and replacement flight crew.

In addition to the extraordinary costs of delaying the Nov. 29 flight, Hawaiian Airlines also reportedly racked up $46,900 in meal vouchers given as compensation to delayed passengers aboard the flight. ( reported Wednesday that August was not ordered to pay the airline restitution for those costs.

An ( affidavit of the incident from the FBI, which handles crimes committed in the United States airspace, said August made contact with a flight attendant using the back of his hand, threatened to slice his girlfriend's throat and verbally accosted her three children by referring to them as "piggies."

In addition to the aforementioned behavior, August also repeatedly referred to his girlfriend - who was identified only by the initials K.P. by the FBI - as a "c---" and threatened the safety of the woman, her children and flight crew. During boarding, the woman's 11-year-old son was reportedly observed crying and asked, "Can you please just keep him away from us?"

At one point while August was restrained by the crew, he repeatedly said he was going to return to his seat and punch his girlfriend in the face. He also threatened a flight attendant by stating: "I will take you out."

Court documents indicated that August had been drinking prior to boarding. He also consumed two small bottles of liquor and took an unidentified pill, according to the affidavit.

"Turning an aircraft around due to a passenger's unruly interference with our flight crew not only creates an inconvenience to all guests on board, but is extremely costly," a representative for Hawaiian Airlines told International Business Times in a statement. "We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Attorney's Office and the ruling allowing Hawaiian to recoup some of the hard costs it incurred."

August pleaded guilty to interfering with flight crew in February, the ( Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported at the time. When asked by the judge what occurred, August said he did not "remember much" about the incident.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Sep 1, 2017
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