As scary as air travel may already be to some people, recent incidents have shown that turbulent behaviour from flight passengers — even cabin crew — can be an additional cause of anxiety.

Last week, a Sunwing flight from Halifax to the Dominican Republic was diverted to Bermuda after several members of a Cape Breton family were accused of smoking and being verbally abusive.

David MacNeil, 54, Donna MacNeil, 52, and David MacNeil Jr., 22, appeared in plea court in Hamilton, Bermuda, this week and all three were charged with disobeying lawful commands under the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order.

MacNeil Sr. pleaded guilty to behaving in a disorderly manner and using abusive and insulting words. Donna MacNeil pleaded guilty to disobeying lawful commands. They were sentenced to either a $500 fine or 10 days in prison.

David MacNeil Jr. was charged with smoking on the plane, but he denied the charge in court and prosecutors decided not to proceed further.

Also this week, a Calgary man was given one-year probation, fined $4,000 and ordered to pay $15,200 in restitution to Air Canada after his unruly behaviour forced a London to Calgary flight to land in Edmonton last August.

Justin Frank, 36, pleaded guilty to charges of assault, mischief and failing to obey the instructions of a flight crew member last November. He had to be restrained with wrist straps and duct tape by passengers and crew, reportedly smashing a TV and becoming abusive on the flight.

Here is a look at other prominent cases of unruly on-board behaviour.

Senator's wife charged

In August 2012, Maygan Sensenberger, the wife of Manitoba Liberal Senator Rod Zimmer, was charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft, uttering threats and causing disturbance on a flight between Ottawa and Saskatoon.

At the time of the incident, police alleged she had threatened to slit her husband's throat. Sensenberger was arrested after the plane landed and no one was injured in the incident.

She received one year of probation after pleading guilty to causing a disturbance. The other two charges were withdrawn by the Crown.

JetBlue pilot restrained

In March 2012, JetBlue Airways captain Clayton Osbon had to be forcibly restrained by passengers after reportedly running down the aisle and screaming incoherently about terrorists. Fortunately, a co-pilot had the presence of mind to take over controls in the cockpit and with the help of a pilot who happened to be on the flight, managed to land the commercial jet safely in Texas.

Osbon was charged with interference with a flight crew but was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

American Airlines flight attendant's 'crash' rants

A female American Airlines flight attendant was removed from a plane in 2012 after ranting about a possible crash over the public address system.

The unidentified flight attendant babbled over the system about technical problems with the plane, saying, "Captain, I can't be responsible for crashing this plane."

The incident at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport led the pilot to taxi back to the gate, where the flight attendant received a psychiatric evaluation.

Alec Baldwin booted for playing Words with Friends


Actor Alec Baldwin was booted from an American Airlines flight after he refused to turn off a mobile device he was using to play an online game. (Craig Ruttle/Associated Press)

Actor Alec Baldwin was booted from an American Airlines flight at Los Angeles International Airport in December 2011 for playing a game on his cellphone.

The 30 Rock star was playing Words with Friends as his plane idled at the gate. He left the plane and boarded another flight to New York. Baldwin lashed out on Twitter, saying that he had been "reamed out" by a flight attendant.

"He loves Words with Friends so much that he was willing to leave a plane for it," said Baldwin's spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik.

In a later Facebook posting, the airline said an "extremely vocal" passenger was rude to the crew and used offensive language. 

RIM execs' rowdy behaviour 

Two former executives with technology giant Research in Motion pleaded guilty to mischief and paid $71,757 in restitution after an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Beijing was diverted to Vancouver in December 2011.

Court documents suggest the pair were inebriated, yelled at each other, and one of them warned he would "off people when they left the plane." They were subsequently let go from RIM, now known as BlackBerry, for unprofessional behaviour.

Crew members handcuffed both men with plastic restraints and tape, which the pair "chewed their way through," according to court documents.

JetBlue's Steven Slater makes quick exit


Former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater was arrested in 2010 on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing. (Louis Lanzano/Associated Press)

Steven Slater became a folk hero to some for the attention-grabbing way he quit his job as a JetBlue flight attendant.  

Slater's flight had just landed at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport when he got into an altercation with a female passenger who stood before the plane came to a halt. He used the loudspeaker to curse at the passengers, grabbed a beer and slid down the plane's emergency chute.

Slater pleaded guilty to attempted criminal mischief for the 2010 incident. He was ordered to undergo a year of counselling and treatment for substance abuse. He'd worked in the airline industry for about 20 years.

Air Canada co-pilot flips out

In 2008, shocked passengers aboard an Air Canada flight bound for London from Toronto watched in horror as crew members forcibly removed, then restrained and sedated a co-pilot who had become belligerent.

The 58-year-old co-pilot had apparently suffered a nervous breakdown. A flight attendant with a flight licence took over some cockpit duties and helped to make an emergency landing in Ireland, where the co-pilot was taken for psychiatric care.

Gerard Depardieu makes a mess


French actor Gerard Depardieu was accused of urinating on the floor of a plane in 2011. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Associated Press)

Gerard Depardieu's Paris-to-Dublin flight was delayed when the French actor was accused of urinating on the floor of the plane

The actor wanted to use the restroom ahead of the delayed flight's takeoff in the summer of 2011, but the cabin crew told him to remain seated. In response, Depardieu reportedly urinated on the floor.

The actor later spoofed the incident in a video.