Party over: Two face charges after plane returns to Canada

Story highlights

  • Five charges each for two Canadian passengers
  • Airline: Apparently the two women drank a good bit in the bathroom
  • The women got into a "physical altercation," made threats against the plane
  • NORAD escorted flight back to Toronto
Airborne for white, sandy beaches, turquoise Cuban waters and swaying palms, two women apparently broke out their duty-free booze on Wednesday and partied hearty in a passenger jet bathroom.
So terribly hearty, that they got Sunwing Flight 656 a military jet escort back to the Canadian airport from which it departed.
Prosecutors on Thursday charged Melana Muzikante, 26, and Lilia Ratmanski, 25, each with two counts of mischief, one count of smoking on an aircraft, one count of endangering the safety of an aircraft and with uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm, according to Constable Lillian Fitzpatrick of Peel Regional Police.
A judge released them on $2,500 bail each after they spent a night in a Canadian jail, but Fitzpatrick said Muzikante's surety won't arrive until Friday, meaning she'll spend Thursday night behind bars.
It was not clear late Thursday who her attorney was; attempts to reach Ratmanski were unsuccessful.
From champagne to swill
Sunwing Airlines flies North Americans south and advertises its low-cost holiday voyages with "Champagne Service." It welcomes aboard vacationers departing from Canada for Latin America and the Caribbean with a glass of bubbly.
On Flight 656, passengers were toasting their forthcoming R&R at their destination of Varadero on Cuba's Florida-facing shore.
Apparently, it wasn't enough for two passengers.
Out came the duty-free spirits, and to go with them, the ladies allegedly lit up a cigarette in the lavatory, the airline said in a statement. Then the bathroom smoke detector ratted them out.
Fight, threats, jail
Their moods swung, and their fists may have, too, as the two women got "into a physical altercation with each other," the airline said.
They also threatened to do something to the plane. The crew didn't believe that they could, "given their condition," Sunwing said, but procedure called for them to make a U-turn and head back for base.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command diverted two CF-18 fighter jets to escort the plane to Toronto's airport.
"Those two females were brought off that aircraft by our officers here at the airport division," Tudo said.
The other passengers received free meal vouchers and an apology, Sunwing said.
Judge grounds partying
Muzikante and Ratmanski are due back in court September 29, according to Fitzpatrick.
Until then, they will have to keep any revelry at lower altitudes: Fitzpatrick said the judge ordered the two to stay away from each other, from booze and from any airport.