It is bad enough these days on a flight what with arm rest hogs, carry-on idiots and unkempt smelly fellow passengers.  Now it seems some think they can drink AND fly – in the air.  My goodness.

That’s what happened back in 2015 when John Cox flew from Birmingham to Sharm el-Sheikh on Monarch Airlines.

First of all he was drunk and abusive on the flight.

And then he started not one fire – but two.   (As reported below in the Mirror)

“Cabin crew found the blaze in a toilet in a waste paper basket and used two fire extinguishers and water to put it out.

The captain issued a “strongly worded” announcement warning passengers about the risk of smoking on board and the consequences of it.

He also debriefed the crew who were told to remain vigilant and it was decided to carry on with the flight, with four remaining fire extinguishers on board.

Just minutes later, when the plane was 100 nautical miles north west of Egypt at 35,000 feet, the captain received another warning about a fire.

This time it was discovered in the waste basket of a second toilet.”

So he ends up in court and pleads guilty to arson and gets 4 and a half years in jail.  Apparently appeals because he is going through a bad time with his divorce and the death of his mother – which is a shame.

But not enough to sway the Appeal Court who promptly increased his sentence to 10 years.

No wonder he needed another smoke outside Court.


It made me think about the days when smoking was allowed on flights.  Do you remember?  Are you old enough? 😊

smoking on a flight

If you ended up in the last seat of the non-smoking section you might as well have been sitting in the smoking section.  Ugh – terrible.

However – as a life-long non smoker I do have some sympathy for smokers on these long flights.  Nicotine is addictive and yet it is legal.  So put a smoker – especially a nervous one who is going through personal problems – on a long flight and maybe he or she will do whatever they can to have a smoke.  Even if it means almost setting fire to the plane.  You also have to ask how did he get so drunk?  Was it on the plane and if so why was he given so much booze?  If it was before departure why was he allowed to board and shouldn’t there be some control at the bars or duty free shops within the airport area.

Lots of questions which Mr Cox can mull over during the 10 years he is going to spend inside.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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