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Two Tech Executives Get So Drunk on Plane That it Forces Crew to Turn Around Halfway Through Flight

Because Research in Motion's stocks have fallen by 77 percent since the beginning of 2011, and because they've been getting trounced by competitors in the tablet market, one would assume that executives working for the company would at least try to represent it well.

One would expect that responsible and professional executives would try to calm investors who have been shaken up by failing stocks and rumors of bankruptcy by reinforcing confidence in the brand. Building and promoting a likeable public image would be a great place to start.

But then again, we are talking about RIM; nothing seems to be going right for them this year.

Allegedly, two Canadian RIM executives, George Campbell and Alexander Wilson, got incredibly inebriated and raucous on a flight from Toronto to Beijing, forcing the pilot to ground the plane in Vancouver, reports the Toronto Star.

We knew it wasn't just a stereotype . . .

How drunk were they? This might give you an idea: even though the plane was already north of Alaska, the two execs were drunk enough that the pilots actually turned the plane around so that they could land it in Vancouver. A person briefed on the matter who was not authorized to speak to the media, said the plane was actually much closer to Beijing, writes the New York Times.

"The airline decided the plane should return to Canada because of concerns that Chinese law enforcement officials would impound the aircraft, a situation that would have cost Air Canada a substantial amount of lost revenue," the Times reports.

One passenger said that Campbell and Wilson were "fighting" with the flight attendants, prompting the crew to subdue them. Both men were eventually separated and placed in plastic handcuffs.

Campbell, 45, and Wilson, 38, “simply weren't listening to any direction that the flight crew was giving them," a Canadian official told the Toronto Star.

“They weren’t necessarily fighting. They were just simply being unruly in their drunken state," said Cpl. Sherrdean Turley in an interview.

When they finally landed, the two men were arrested, fined $35,878 apiece, given a year's probation, and banned from any contact with Air Canada during that time.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that they have also been suspended from their jobs.

The other 312 passengers had a lousy go of it as well, notes the Star. Because the direct flight was a 13-hour one, the interruption meant the total time to get to Beijing exceeded flight crew safety regulations—so a new crew had to be called in, during which time the travelers were put up in a hotel. They ultimately arrived 18 hours late, reports Newser.

A RIM spokesman only had this to say regarding the situation: "Based on the limited information available at this time, RIM has suspended the individuals involved pending further investigation."

Of course, whenever a story like this shows up in the news, it might be prudent to ask whether the passengers involved were legitimately unruly or whether the flight crew was overreacting:

(h/t Business Insider)

One last thing…
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