A man derailed beach vacations for hundreds of people after announcing he has coronavirus—for the joke.
The move forced a WestJet flight en route to Montego Bay, Jamaica to return to Toronto.
Flight WS 2702 was halfway to its destination on Monday morning before the 29-year-old allegedly stood up and announced to the crew and almost 250 passengers that he had the virus. That’s when airplane staff decided to turn the aircraft around.
“Out of an abundance of caution, our crew followed all protocols for infectious disease on board, including sequestering an individual who made an unfounded claim regarding coronavirus,” WestJet spokesperson, Morgan Bell, told CityNews.
Bell apologized to all passengers aboard.
One passenger said she saw the man taking selfies with passengers while telling them about his faux coronavirus diagnosis. VICE has been unable to confirm if he did it for the ‘gram but will update this story when new information becomes available.
"We were flying in the opposite direction all of a sudden and it said our final destination was back in Toronto. So we were very confused and worried,” Julie-Anne Broderick told CBC News.
The plane landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport at 2:20 p.m. ET on February 3. Peel Regional Police arrested the suspect, a 29-year-old man from Thornhill, shortly after.
Officers charged the man with mischief, and he is scheduled to appear in court on March 9.
WestJet had to cancel two flights as a result of the incident. The airline added an additional flight to Montego Bay on Tuesday to cater to inconvenienced passengers.
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