Here's a story you may not have heard, but may be worth repeating: Two executive employees of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) got so drunk and rowdy on a plane on Monday that the pilots turned the plane around and booted them off. The men were then arrested.
The flight, which left for Toronto heading for Beijing, was diverted to Vancouver, British Columbia, where the two RIM executives, George Campbell and Alexander Wilson, were booted off and arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Canada. A police spokeswoman told The New York Times via email that they men were not fighting on the flight but they were intoxicated and weren't listening to anything they were told to do/asked to do by the airline crew.
Campbell, 45, and Wilson, 38, both pleaded guilty in court to one count of mischief under Canadian criminal law, according to the Times, and given suspended sentences and required to pay a fine of $35,382 to Air Canada, the airline they were flying on. The disruption delayed the flight for the other 312 passengers aboard the Boeing 777 aircraft, which was already north of Alaska when airline pilots decided to turn the plane around and kick them off.
According to police, the men were forcibly restrained.
They weren't necessarily fighting. They were just simply being unruly in their drunken state, Cpl. Sherrdean Turley said in an interview with the Toronto Star. And in that state, they just simply weren't listening to any direction that the flight crew was giving them.
A spokesman for Air Canada said the airline crew followed standard procedures for safety and passenger security. A passenger on board the plane said Campbell and Wilson were fighting with flight attendants, prompting the crew to restrain and subdue them.
Canada-based RIM has faced intense pressure in the past year, as the company stock price has sunk almost 80 percent as its flagship BlackBerry smartphone brand loses marketshare. At one time, BlackBerry was the world's leading smartphone, but after Apple released its first iPhone in 2007 the company has been taking marketshare from RIM. The iPhone is now the world's leading smartphone.
RIM issued the following statement on the incident: Based on the limited information available at this time, RIM has suspended the individuals involved pending further investigation.