Last updated: 12:22 PM ET, Tue April 14 2015

Elderly Passenger Allegedly Bites Crew Member on Trans-Atlantic Flight

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | April 14, 2015

Elderly Passenger Allegedly Bites Crew Member on Trans-Atlantic Flight

An elderly woman aboard an Air Canada flight from Frankfurt to Toronto was arrested late last week after an outburst forced the flight to divert to Shannon Airport in Ireland.

According to Pat Flynn of the Irish Mirror, the 79-year-old woman assaulted at least one cabin crew member, allegedly scratching and biting a flight attendant. 

The woman, who was traveling in first class, ultimately had to be restrained by multiple crew members before the flight crew was alerted to the disruption and potential risk she posed. 

The incident prompted the pilot to contact the Irish Aviation Authority's (IAA) North Atlantic Communications Service Center and request authorities be made available for the flight's arrival at Shannon Airport. Air Canada Flight 877 was more than 600 miles northwest of Co. Claire, Ireland when the pilot made the decision to divert rather than complete the scheduled service.

After dumping fuel over the Atlantic Ocean to ensure a safe landing, the dramatic flight touched down at around 8 p.m. local time before taxiing directly to the terminal. Once there, the flight was met by airport police officers and Gardai, or the Irish police force, who arrested the elderly suspect.

The woman was taken to a Garda station at the airport for questioning but it remains to be seen whether she will face charges stemming from the incident. 

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