A passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight to New Orleans on Tuesday is now banned for life from flying with the low-cost airline after vaping with his electronic cigarette mid-flight and setting off a smoke alarm, according to nola.com.
The report says the man, a 30-year-old St. Petersburg, Florida, resident traveling from Detroit, was also "heavily intoxicated" and smelled of alcohol, according to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office deputy that met the plane when it landed at Louis Armstrong International Airport.
Authorities did not arrest the man, but Spirit Airlines banned him from flying with the company ever again. When speaking with the JPSO deputy, the man said he did not know smoking was forbidden on an airplane — despite an alleged warning from a flight attendant — and denied smoking in the restroom.
According to authorities, the man was caught by a flight attendant taking his e-cigarette out, inhaling from it and blowing the smoke into his bag during the flight. The flight attendant informed the man smoking was not allowed on the plane, and he was spotted heading to the restroom a few moments later.
While inside the restroom, the plane's smoke alarm went off in the cockpit, causing the pilot to descend to 35,000 feet to shut it off.
Later, another passenger notified the flight attendant that the man was also seen hiding several bottles of alcohol under his jacket that he snuck on board and was drinking from them. The flight attendant also informed the man that this was not allowed on an airplane
Federal Aviation Administration rules say flight passengers may only drink alcoholic beverages if served to them by the "certificate holder operating the plane."
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