Haitian sentenced to pay more than $7,000 over plane seat row

AFP| Updated: Mar 28, 2015, 07:10 AM IST

A Haitian man who forced a flight to be diverted after reacting angrily to a seat being reclined in front of him was ordered to pay more than $7,000 by a US court on Friday.

The case was part of a series of three incidents dubbed the legroom wars, which unfolded over a nine-day period in August and September when passengers lost their temper over reclining seats, forcing US passenger planes to divert.

Edmond Alexandre, 60, a resident of Paris, pleaded guilty to interference with flight crew members and was sentenced by a federal judge in Boston.

Authorities said Alexandre became disruptive on his August 27 Miami-to-Paris American Airlines flight when a passenger in front of him reclined the seat.

According to the court statement, Alexandre chased a crew member and grabbed the attendant`s arm after the individual had tried to calm him.

Federal air marshals subdued Alexandre while the plane was diverted to Boston`s Logan Airport. It continued on to Paris four hours later without Alexandre.

A US district judge sentenced Alexandre to one year of supervised release, a $1,000 fine and restitution of $6,303 to American Airlines.

He had faced a maximum potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.