Spirit Airlines passenger ban, Lights and Smokes Mid-Air (News)

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Spirit Airlines passenger ban, Lights and Smokes Mid-Air.

A passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight to New Orleans set off the plane’s smoke alarm after he took a drag from an electronic cigarette in a restroom, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Spirit responded by banning him for life from its planes.

The 30-year-old St. Petersburg, Florida, resident was traveling from Detroit on Flight 985 on Tuesday afternoon (June 4). A flight attendant told deputies she saw him pull out an e-cigarette, inhale from it then blow the smoke into his bag, authorities said.

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She told the man that smoking wasn’t allowed on the airplane. A few moments later, she spotted him heading towards the restroom.

While the man was in the restroom, the plane’s smoke alarm began sounding in the cockpit, authorities said. The pilot descended to 35,000 feet to shut off the alarm, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

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Another passenger notified the flight attendant that the man had been “hiding under his jacket” and drinking from several bottles of alcohol that he brought on board, authorities said. The flight attendant told the man that, too, was not allowed on an airplane. Federal Aviation Administration rules state that passengers may drink alcoholic beverages only if served to them by the “certificate holder operating the plane.”

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A deputy sheriff who met the plane when it landed at Louis Armstrong International Airport wrote that the man was “highly intoxicated” and smelled of alcohol. The man told the deputy he didn’t know smoking was forbidden on an airplane and denied smoking in the restroom.

Authorities did not arrest the man. But Spirit banned him from ever flying with the company, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

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