Man on Air Canada flight criminally charged for sneezing

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Talk about a nightmare at 20,000 feet!

Last August, Vadim Ilyinsky was returning to Toronto from Mexico aboard an Air Canada flight. But upon landing at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Vadim was met by Peel Regional Police officers and promptly charged with the offence of “Mischief - Interfere with lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.”

Gracious! That sounds quite serious, doesn’t it? Just what the heck did Vadim do while flying back to Canada? Did he get into a fistfight? Did he try to hijack the aircraft?

Hardly! You see, as it turns out, Vadim’s egregious crime against humanity was... sneezing?! Huh?

Here’s the nitty-gritty: while in his seat, Vadim claims he took off his mask to fix a broken string. A COVID-Karen in another row complained (naturally) and a flight attendant promptly read Vadim the riot act. As they were talking, Vadim sneezed (he says that he suffers from sinus issues).

Vadim says it was a dry sneeze and completely accidental; alas, the flight attendant begs to differ.

In a statement, she said that Vadim “suddenly and very deliberately leaned forward and emitted a very loud sneeze.” She also claimed that “saliva and possible nasal fluids landed on her uniform.”

(It is unknown if the uniform was sent to the forensics department.)

About two hours later, the plane touched down at Pearson and Vadim says he was “shocked” to be charged by waiting police officers. The maximum fine he faces: a whopping $5,000. Vadim will have his first court appearance next month.

Check out my interview with Vadim and ask yourself: could this be the craziest COVID story yet?

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  • By David Menzies

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