Ryanair wins $284K in court against Twitter prankster
Europe’s biggest (by number of passengers carried) low-cost carrier Ryanair was awarded $284K in damages by a US court after an anonymous Twitter user made a bomb threat against the airline back in 2016.
The case followed an incident when an anonymous Twitter user with a nickname @GunnexGod tweeted: "Hello @Ryanair, you have 15 minutes before I commit the biggest terror attack the UK has ever seen on one of your planes. Be ready".
The airline responded by launching an investigation into the anonymous tweeter’s identity. The Independent reports that only obtaining the subpoenas Twitter cost the airline over $32000 in legal feels. However, the investigation was successful as the identity of the anonymous tweeter was revealed to be Brian Lake from Pennsylvania.
The case was then taken to Pennsylvania courts that have decided to award the airline with $284,148 in damages, which includes the attorney’s fees as well as punitive damage.
Airlines often have to respond to bomb threat hoaxes. For instance, Ryanair had a similar incident back in May 2016, on a flight between Tenerife and Santiago de Compostela when a passenger threated to explode a bomb because the flight crew refused to serve him beer.