ROMULUS, Mich. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A JetBlue flight headed to Las Vegas from John F. Kennedy International Airport was diverted to Detroit earlier this weekend, after a hollering, agitated passenger ignored pleas to calm down.
Flight 211 was headed west from JFK when the passenger became unruly, and the captain decided to land at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus, Michigan, at around 8:30 a.m. Saturday out of “an abundance of caution,” JetBlue Airways Corp. said in statement Sunday.
Detroit Metro Airport spokesman Michael Conway said that the passenger was fighting with his family and could not be controlled, CBS Detroit reported.
FBI Detroit spokesman David Porter said it’s unknown whether the man will face criminal charges, but said the episode “did not rise to the level of threatening the aircraft.” He said, “Flight attendants were able to get a handle on the situation relatively quickly.”
Passengers said the outburst erupted suddenly.
Passenger video showed a man in a window seat standing, gesticulating and shouting, his remarks unclear.
“Dad, stop it!” a female voice exclaims as the man lurches toward the aisle, where flight attendants subdued him and restrained him with plastic hand ties.
Authorities in Detroit took the man into custody, JetBlue said. Porter said that he couldn’t discuss the man’s whereabouts Sunday but that he wasn’t in FBI custody.
After about two hours in Detroit, the plane went on to Las Vegas, arriving at around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, JetBlue said.
The episode unfolded five days after a woman said she was nearly kicked off a JetBlue flight after her 3-year-old daughter urinated in her seat because the flight crew wouldn’t let her use the bathroom while the plane was on the tarmac at JFK.
CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported Jennifer Deveraux said Flight 518 from New York to Boston this past Monday when her 3-year-old daughter, Summer, started crying and told her mother she needed to use the bathroom.
The flight attendant refused the request, Schneider reported.
“She snapped at me, ‘No, sit down,'” said Deveraux.
Summer was forced to pee in her own seat. Deveraux, of Newton, Mass., said when she got up to clean the mess, the flight attendant yelled at her again.
“And I said, ‘Please give me a break. My daughter had an accident because you wouldn’t let me take her to the bathroom. After I clean it up I will sit down.’ She turned around and reported it to the pilot,” Deveraux said.
The pilot turned the plane around and went back to the gate, announcing on the loudspeaker that there was a noncompliant passenger on board, Schneider reported.
“It wasn’t about bad customer service at that point; it was about bad human decency,” Deveraux said. “My daughter was sitting in a pool of urine, and I couldn’t do anything about it. And as a mom, it just broke my heart.”
An off-duty pilot sitting two seats in front of the pair came to their defense and convinced the flight crew to let her stay.
It has been a busy few days for airplane mishaps. A Florida-to-Connecticut JetBlue flight was diverted to JFK on Sunday after a mechanical warning light went on, and an Allegiant Air flight Friday from Las Vegas to Missoula, Montana, landed in West Wendover, Nevada, because of a hydraulic system warning light. Both planes landed safely, with no injuries.
A Delta Air Lines ramp worker was injured Friday evening responding to an engine fire in a plane parked at New York’s LaGuardia Airport after all its passengers had disembarked; the airline said the worker was doing well.
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