Airline passenger jailed following ‘inappropriate’ mid-flight rant: 'She is thoroughly ashamed'


A woman has been sentenced to six months in prison after going on an allegedly intoxicated rant in the middle of her flight.

Demi Burton was on an Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi to Manchester, England, in May when the incident occurred, the Telegraph reported. The 20-year-old, who is from the U.K., reportedly went on an "aggressive," sexually-explicit rant after being told she would no longer be served alcohol.

"You may as well just land the plane now then!" Burton said after being denied alcohol, according to court documents. After that confrontation, she allegedly began to harass both passengers and flight attendants for nearly four hours.

From there, Burton then proceeded to ask at least two men if they wanted to join the "mile-high club," an "increasingly impropriate" request she reportedly reiterated despite their attempts to ignore her.

"Both tried to end the conversation with her but she carried on," Claire Brocklebank, the prosecutor in Burton's case, said. "One said he felt quite shocked by her comments and people around her started to ask her to be quiet as others could hear."

Ultimately, several staff members tried to calm Burton down, but she reportedly became violent and headbutted a flight attendant. Court documents state that it took as many as six people to restrain the 20-year-old, after which an anesthesiologist was brought in to help sedate her.

The anesthesiologist told the court that the struggle was "worse than anything he’d seen," adding that he was bitten during the confrontation.

Martin Callery, Burton's defense lawyer, said her client was drinking due to her fear of flying and anxiety about seeing her family, who she described as "very controlling" and "very abusive."

"[Burton] is thoroughly ashamed of herself and because she is remorseful," Callery said. "She is utterly embarrassed at the way she behaved. It is completely out of character as far as she is concerned."

However, Circuit Judge John Edwards was stern in his sentencing, saying that Burton had to be "dealt with in a way that might deter others."

"Your behavior was unpleasant, violent and persistent over a lengthy period," the judge said. "So that a doctor, an anesthetist by profession remarks in all his dealings in A&E had not witnessed such aggressive behavior before."