An international flight was forced to turn around in mid-air after two passengers reportedly tried to sneak into business class.
The United Airlines flight from Newark to Tel Aviv was rerouted because of the unruly passengers after staff asked them to show proof that they were sitting in their assigned seats, N12, an Israeli outlet, reported.
The altercation prompted the crew to turn around the plane back from its location at the time – the border between the US and Canada – to Newark Liberty International Airport.
United Airlines said in a statement that flight 90 was turned around “due to disruptive passengers on board”. Police met the plane as it arrived back at the airport and the flight was later cancelled. The airline said they “provided our customers with meal vouchers and hotel accommodation and have made arrangements for customers to complete their journeys”.
The Jerusalem Post reported one witness saying that two crew members approached the passengers around 90 minutes after takeoff and requested that they show their seat allocation, prompting the “disruptive” behaviour.
The Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) told CNN that “no charges by PAPD were issued” and that no injuries were reported.
Passenger Roi Eitan told N12 that the argument started after the two passengers moved to the business class section of the half-empty flight.
Police officers entered the plane to arrest the Israeli passengers after landing.
In a similar episode, a transatlantic flight to London returned to Miami earlier this week after about an hour in the air because a first-class passenger refused to comply with masking rules, American Airlines said.
According to people sitting near the woman, she had been drinking and refused to comply with cabin crew requests to wear a facemask during the flight.
Passenger Steve Freeman, who was sitting nearby, told WPLG: “There was a lot of drinking involved and I was nervous. She sat behind us in first class, she was a first-class passenger and was extremely abusive to the stewards.”
He added that the woman had been offered masks by the cabin crew, but refused to comply with the rules and was rude to stay – something Mr Freeman said contributed to the plane being turned around.
“We almost felt something was going to happen. I could see the writing on the wall, they gave her a lot of warnings, so we were kind of ready for it. It wasn’t just about the mask. It was the abusive behaviour,” he said.
Police officers waited for the flight to arrive back at Miami International Airport after the Boeing 777 had flown its 129 passengers and 14 crew members for about 500 miles out of its 4,400-mile trip when it turned around off the North…