Monday 18 December 2017

Airline in talks over €30,000 Lauren air-rage compensation claim

Jennifer Lauren leaving Ennis District Court where she was fined €2,000
Jennifer Lauren leaving Ennis District Court where she was fined €2,000
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

Delta Airlines is liaising with its legal team following the Jennifer Lauren air-rage incident which cost it more than €30,000.

Ms Lauren (41), a niece of fashion mogul Ralph Lauren, was fined €2,000 after pleading guilty to two charges of being intoxicated on board the Delta flight from Barcelona to New York and breaching the peace.

She flew back to the US yesterday after picking up her passport from gardai in Shannon who had confiscated it after arresting her on Monday.

The jewellery designer flew out of Shannon Airport on the United Airlines UA24 flight to Newark at 9.43am.

The incident cost Delta Airlines $43,158 (€31,757) as a result of diversions and inconvenience caused. This included:

* $17,704 (€13,027) in fuel costs

* $1,162 (€855) for pilot expenses

* $1,451 (€1,068) flight attendant expenses

* $2,126 (€1,564) in landing charges

* $2,286 (€1,682) in handling charges

* $700 (€515) in maintenance costs

* $17,230 (€12,687) in passenger costs.

The flight, with 209 passengers and crew on board, was forced to divert to Shannon airport whilst 400 miles over the Atlantic as a result of Ms Lauren's behaviour.

A spokesman for the airline said it would liaise with the legal team before making any comment on whether it would bring a civil case against Ms Lauren.

As a result of the diversion, 107 passengers were discommoded with 70 needing overnight accommodation and a further 27 needing two-nights accommodation. On Wednesday, Ms Lauren pleaded guilty to two charges relating to an air-rage incident at Ennis District Court. She was fined €2,000.

The 41-year-old single woman, who lives on East 65th Street in New York, could now face further legal action in the form of a number of civil cases for compensation as a result of the incident.

She conceded through her solicitor Sharon Curley that the issue of compensation may well arise in another forum.

Ms Lauren abused three members of the Delta Airlines crew during the incident, pushing one against a wall and labelling two air hostesses as ugly blonde bitches.

DIVERTED

The incident began two hours into the flight and lasted for an hour and 15 minutes before the diverted plane landed in Shannon and Ms Lauren was arrested and held overnight in Shannon Garda station.

Ms Lauren's solicitor told Ennis District Court on Wednesday that her client's medication, the three drinks she had consumed and the high altitude had all affected her behaviour. She remembered little of the incident.

Irish Independent

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