A Delta Airlines flight from New York to Shanghai was diverted to Alaska after a first class passenger downed five glasses of wine and began shouting profanities at staff and ‘climbing over seats’.
Stephanie Heizmann Auerbach, an American, was charged on Tuesday with interference of flight crew.
Auerbach is the owner of Shanghai-based fashion company Stephanie & Co. According to reports 47 year old Auerbach drank five glasses of wine 90 minutes into the flight and became “so drunk and disruptive” that the flight had to be diverted.
Tickets in the first class section of the plane cost upwards of 24,000 yuan one way.
According to charging documents, which included interviews with crew and other passengers, Auerbach began pacing up and down the aisle, “yelling profanities and climbing on seats”. Passengers also alleged that she was sneaking extra drinks from the galley when the crew’s attention was elsewhere.
“Auerbach spilled alcohol on passenger A.J. and grabbed A.J.’s wrist to place a bracelet on A.J. [She] declined to wear the bracelet and asked Auerbach to leave her alone,” the affidavit stated. “In response, Auerbach swore at A.J. and demanded that a flight attendant give her A.J.’s name.”
“A flight attendant intervened and returned Auerbach to Auerbach’s assigned seat. Auerbach alarmed A.J. and it appeared to A.J. that Auerbach was attempting to gain access to the pilot.”
Auerbach was issued a written notice that she had refused an order from flight crew regarding safety. She proceeded to hit the flight attendant with the notice and demand to be let off the plane.
After the pilot attempted unsuccessfully to get Auerbach to comply with flight crew instructions, the plane was diverted to Anchorage, Alaska.
“The flight crew is in charge of the safety of the aircraft and the passengers on board, and they did what they thought was necessary in this case,” a Delta spokesperson said.
[Image via: @maynard, Facebook]