A man has been fined £670 ($879) and his son has had a warrant issued for his arrest after a row over face masks onboard a Jet2 flight from Cyprus to Manchester, England resulted in the father and son duo verbally abusing flight attendants, following them into the galley, threatening to pull the cabin manager off the plane and threatening to urinate on other passengers.
Christopher Tooth, 57, was travelling with his son Matthew from Cyprus to Manchester on October 23 when the incident unfolded on the Jet2 flight. And according to evidence given in court, it all started when Matthew, 23, was caught eating one of the flight attendant’s own meals (food otherwise has to be bought onboard).
“The incident began when Matthew Tooth was accused of eating one of the personal dinners of one of the cabin crew and he could be heard saying: ‘She’s telling me I’m eating her skank food,'” the prosecuting lawyer told the court in remarks reported by the Daily Mail.
Christopher appears to have taken offence to his son being told off and became aggressive towards cabin crew. At one point, the father and son followed crew into the rear galley, although things eventually seemed to have calmed down.
Not for long, though, because Matthew then refused to wear a face mask as is mandatory on all public transport, including aircraft, operating to or from the United Kingdom. Again, Christopher decided to stick up for his son by becoming aggressive towards cabin crew.
At one point, Matthew is said to have got “inches” away from another passenger’s face while not wearing a mask because she also asked him to put a mask on.
“There were fears that the defendant was about to assault the passenger and he was held back by the cabin manager,” the court was told. He then went onto threaten the crew member, saying he was going to “fucking drag you off this plane”.
The situation got even worse once the plane had landed and was still taxiing to the gate. Ignoring safety instructions, Christopher stood up while the seat belt sign was still on.
When challenged, he shouted, “Shall I piss on you then, wanker?”. Once the plane had come to a stop, he went to the back of the plane, broke the handle off the lavatory door and then urinated in full view of the female cabin crew.
In mitigation, Tooth apologised to the court for his behaviour, saying he had been dealing with personal family issues in Cyprus which may have affected his mood. His son, meanwhile, is still on the run after failing to turn up at court.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.