A Ryanair passenger who insisted on vaping when he was drinking on a flight from Malaga to Cork was convicted and fined €400 for the offence.
Cormac De Faoite, 36, of Burke’s Hill, Tivoli, Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to the single charge brought against him under the Air Navigation and Transport Act.
Sergeant Pat Lyons outlined the background to the offence, which occurred on the flight from Spain to Cork.
Garda Darren Suffin responded to a call to Cork Airport on April 5, 2022, in respect of Ryanair flight FR9902 from Malaga.
Sgt Lyons said: “Gardaí attended at Cork Airport in relation to a man who had been drinking and vaping, against regulations. And there was a refusal to desist after several requests from cabin crew on board the flight, which landed from Malaga.
“Garda Suffin spoke with the pilot, who alleged the defendant was consuming alcohol, vaping in the toilets and continued after several requests from cabin crew to desist.
“The pilot informed the garda the defendant was not violent or aggressive towards the cabin crew or passengers.
“Garda Suffin spoke to the defendant and conveyed him to the Bridewell. He was apologetic for his actions but he refused to obey on-board rules and regulations.”
The charge on which he was fined by Judge Olann Kelleher stated that on April 5, 2022, being a person on board an aircraft in flight, namely Ryanair flight number FR9902, did without justification engage in behaviour likely to cause serious offence or annoyance to any person on board the aircraft, having been requested by a member of the crew of the aircraft to cease such behaviour contrary to the Air Navigation and Transport Act.
Graham Hyde, defence solicitor, classified it as a minor offence, where the maximum penalty was set out in the legislation as £500 (punts).
Mr Hyde said the offence in this case referred to vaping. He said people were entitled to drink alcohol on the flight.
Furthermore, Mr Hyde said there was no question of the passenger being aggressive or abusive.
Judge Kelleher said the incident had to be viewed in terms of the disturbance that might have been caused to passengers during a flight.