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Unruly Passengers Create Tense Moments Aboard AA Flight From LAX To JFK

3 Travelers Lock Themselves In Lavatory; Fighter Jets Shadow Plane To NYC
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American Airlines

An American Airlines jet. (Photo: Spike Call/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

NYC Remembers 9/11

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s just not a day to be messing around.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond With A Passenger

That’s what three passengers on board an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to John F. Kennedy Airport found out on Sunday afternoon.

Sources told CBS News, the three passengers on Flight 34 were disruptive, moving in and out of lavatories, even at one point locking themselves inside. Considering the heightened state of security and general uneasiness air travelers are feeling due to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., security officials are leaving nothing to chance.

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The unruly passengers eventually returned to their seats. They were later questioned by federal authorities and cleared, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported. At least one federal air marshal was on board and at no point was the cockpit in danger.

There was “no nexus to terrorism,” FBI spokesman J. Peter Donald said.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reports

“In our eyes, it’s a big nothing,” American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said.

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The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled two F-16 jets to shadow Flight 34 until it landed safely at Kennedy Airport at 4:10 p.m. Sunday, the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement. The jets acquired the plane about 100 miles west of New York City and followed until it landed.

The FBI’s Donald said in a statement that the jets were sent to escort the flight “out of an abundance of caution.”

Smith said a “security concern” was brought to the airline’s attention but the plane’s captain never declared any sort of security threat and never requested law enforcement help.

He said the crew used “normal procedures” to assess the circumstances and the plane landed as planned.

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(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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