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Airplane Passenger Rips Off His Wedding Ring and Throws It in Wife's Face Over "Freezing" Lasagna

It's his third offense.

A man got so angry about his subpar airplane meal—and his wife's efforts to soothe him—that he ripped his wedding ring and threw it in her face. Samuel Smith, 64, was on a Ryanair flight from Gran Canaria, Spain, to Edinburgh, Scotland, when the in-flight dinner ran afoul of his standards.

Upset he'd been served a lasagna he described as "freezing," Smith yelled at the cabin crew and flung the ring at his spouse. Last month, he appeared in Scottish court—the third time he'd been summoned there for this type of offense. Read on to find out what happened aboard the flight and after. 

Had Apparently Been Drinking


The court was told that Smith had been drinking at the Gran Canaria airport before his flight to Edinburgh took off around 7:25 pm on Aug. 22, 2020. Prosecutor Chelsea Martin said: "Around 45 minutes into the flight the accused consumed a small bottle of Prosecco and ordered food. On arrival of the food the accused began shouting and swearing in relation to the condition of the food being supplied."

She added: "He was heard to shout 'That lasagna is … freezing, I'm not taking that', [and] 'Ryanair is [bad]' and 'this is unfair.' He was then heard to call the [plaintiff] a" foul word. The airplane's captain alerted police, who greeted Smith when the plane landed at Edinburgh Airport in August 2020. Last year, Smith pleaded guilty to a charge of committing a breach of the peace.

Ring Thrown, Drinks Had, But All Apparently Forgiven


Smith's wife attempted to calm her husband down, the prosecutor said, and "made him aware the police would be called." Martin added: "Upon this, the accused has removed his wedding ring and thrown it at [his wife]."

Chris Fehilly, attorney for Smith, told the court that Smith and his wife, Anne, had been married for 18 years and the couple were "back together as man and wife" after the argument. He added his client had stopped drinking alcohol and felt "genuine remorse" for his scene on the plane.

Appeared for Sentencing This Week


This week, Smith, a resident of Glasgow, appeared in court for sentencing. The judge noted this was Smith's third domestic offense. "As I have indicated to you, this is a very serious offense committed against the background of domestic offending and given the location on board an airplane," the judge said.

"However [custody] will not address your domestic offending and it would directly impact your wife and deprive her of your income. "Your offending is at least partly alcohol-related and I have been told you have stopped drinking," the judge said. "Given all this, I consider by the narrowest of margins that there is an alternative to custody."

Light Sentence Not Necessarily Enjoyed By Others 

Piscataquis County Sheriff's Office

Smith was sentenced to 270 hours of community service, along with mandatory alcohol counseling and a domestic abuse course. The judge warned that if any further issues would likely result in jail time. Two other British men may not enjoy similar leniency after an episode of air rage last week.

Damien Murphy and Anthony Kirby, both 36, were arrested after their disruptive behavior caused a flight from Cancun to Manchester to be diverted to the U.S. earlier this month. They've been charged with offenses that carry an eye-popping potential prison sentence.

Decades in Prison Possible

close up of hands holding bars in prison

After allegedly abusing passengers and crew physically and verbally, the two men were removed from a Tui flight by six armed officers at Bangor International Airport in Maine on Monday night. "It was total pandemonium on the plane soon after it took off. It was obvious that these lads were drunk out of their heads and looking for trouble," a passenger told the Daily Mail.

The men allegedly made racist remarks toward staff and passengers, attacked an airline employee, and got into a fistfight with a passenger. They now face federal charges and up to 20 years in prison.

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