This Traveler Learned The Hard Way How Much It Costs When You Get So Drunk That You Ground A Plane

Getty Image / /Uproxx

Flights — they’re not our favorite place to be, but we’ve all developed our own individual ways of coping. For some, that means bringing a lengthy novel or loading up a laptop with some classic movies. Others choose to weird out everyone sitting next to them by blankly staring at the seatback in front of them, and let’s not forget the timeless act of getting a little tipsy before a flight to calm your nerves. But if your fantasy of a great flight consists of getting so blackout drunk that you end up lunging at a flight attendant and single-handedly cause the grounding of a plane, maybe think twice about that move (also, weird fantasy bruh).

Kyong Chol Kim, a 48-year-old South Korean man, was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay Hawaiian Airlines $172,000 last week, after his drunken behavior caused a plane bound for South Korea to turn around, undoubtedly ruining the day of all 262 passengers and 13 crew members.

According to USA Today, prosecutors claim that Kim drank an entire bottle of whiskey before the flight, bothered a child seated next to him, and threateningly lunged at a flight attendant (and missed) four hours into an 11-hour flight to South Korea from Honolulu. The plane’s captain made the decision to return the flight to Honolulu where Kim was apprehended by FBI, deputy sheriffs and Customs and Border Protection agents and transported to a Federal Detention Center.

A judge overseeing the case has now ordered Kim to pay Hawaiian Airlines $172,000 in damages, which accounts for the cost of returning the flight and accommodating the passengers waiting for the plane in South Korea. Flights aren’t fun, but no 11-hour flight is worth paying $172,000.

Don’t be Kyong Chol Kim, find out how not to fly like a jerk instead.