After admitting to interfering with flight crew on a flight from Seattle to Charlotte in January, a 33-year-old American Airlines passenger who hopped on a beverage cart and took off his clothing now faces the possibility of serving the next 20 years in jail.
Following a plea deal with the prosecution, Adam Alexander Williams of Auburn, Washington, pled guilty to one count of interfering with flight crew members and attendants on Thursday.
Williams could receive a term of up to 20 years in prison, a $25,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
Williams hopped over passengers in his row and onto a beverage cart that was being brought down the aisle by a flight attendant during the roughly four-hour journey from Seattle to North Carolina.
He fell into the flight attendant as he got off the trolley and shoved her into a seat, knocking beverages and cups on the ground in the process.
Williams continued his unusual conduct by pacing up and down the aisle. One of the flight attendants, according to witnesses, appeared upset and scared.
Williams was eventually calmed down by another crew member, who also helped him settle into his seat, but after only ten minutes Williams began shouting profanities.
Williams was seated near a group of Marines who were not on duty and who had just happened to be on the flight. However, after just 10 minutes of peace, Williams jumped up, started shouting, and began taking off his clothes.
At this point, the captain made the decision to reroute the plane. A short while later, the plane landed in Billings, where Williams was apprehended by police enforcement.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which compiles information submitted to it by U.S. airlines, the number of occurrences involving rowdy passengers peaks in early 2021. After the federal face mask requirement was lifted, occurrences of unruly passengers significantly decreased.
The percentage of rowdy passengers has already dropped below a benchmark established in the final three months of 2020. According to the most recent FAA statistics, there were 1.7 occurrences of disruptive passengers per 10,000 flights during the week ending June 12, 2022.