A drunk passenger spent two days in lock-up but escaped a jail sentence after he tried to open a plane’s emergency exit door mid-flight.
New Zealand restaurant manager Harry Frazer Cranwell, 32, was flying from Auckland to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when a Malaysia Airlines flight attendant spotted him trying to open the handle of the emergency door, the New Zealand Herald reported.
She made him move to another seat away from the door and informed the head of the cabin crew and the captain of the plane, who notified security at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Cranwell was flying with friends and had drunk several glasses of beer and spirits during the flight.
They were on their way to go on holiday in Vietnam, via Kuala Lumpur, but Cranwell’s journey ended prematurely at Kuala Lumpur.
He was later fined $2000 after pleading guilty to endangering an aircraft and the lives of those on board in court.
He could have been jailed for up to three years and fined up to $16,600 for the breach of the Civil Aviation Regulations.
Magistrate Mohamad Izwan Mohamed Noh warned Cranwell to not repeat his actions.
“I promise, sir,” Cranwell, wearing an orange prison uniform, replied with tears rolling down his cheeks.
His lawyer, Zaflee Pakwanteh, said the two days spent in a police cell had taught Cranwell a lesson he was unlikely to forget.