British citizen ordered to pay $20,000 in compensation to United for forcing international flight to divert to Maine – NECN

A British citizen who forced the diversion of a United Airlines plane flying from London to the New York City area to Maine earlier this year has been ordered to reimburse the airline over $20,000 for inconveniencing the flight crew .

According to the Transportation Security Administration, Alexander Michael Dominic MacDonald, 30, was convicted this week in U.S. District Court in Bangor of obstructing a flight crew. He was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay $20,638 in restitution. He has been in custody since his arrest and pleaded guilty on March 22.

The charges stemmed from an incident on a United Airlines flight that diverted to Bangor International Airport on March 1.

According to court documents, MacDonald was a passenger aboard United Flight 883 traveling from Heathrow Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. While the flight was in U.S. airspace, he reportedly began arguing with his traveling companion and causing a disturbance. When flight attendants asked MacDonald to remain silent and tried to calm him down, they said, “He became belligerent, threatening and intimidating toward them.”

When the senior flight attendant intervened, MacDonald also became more cheapened and intimidating toward him, saying he would “screw up the plane.” When his behavior continued, he was handcuffed with flexible handcuffs and the flight was diverted to Bangor.

The flight's 148 other passengers continued on to Newark after the two who initiated the diversion were removed and banned from future United flights pending the matter's review, the airline said at the time.

The FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Bangor police investigated the case.

Anna Harden

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