NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Delta Air Lines flight from LaGuardia International Airport to West Palm Beach, Florida, was diverted to Jacksonville because of an argument between two passengers Monday night.
According to a report by the Jacksonville Airport Authority, 32-year-old Amy Fine of Boca Raton was resting her head on her tray table when the passenger ahead of her reclined the seat. The seat hit Fine’s head, and witnesses say the two passengers began arguing.
“She started swearing at the flight attendants and then demanding that the flight land,” witness Aaron Klipin told Jacksonville station News 4 Jax. “She said something to the effect of ‘I don’t care about the consequences, put this plane down now.'”
Flight attendants called Fine combative.
Fine told authorities she wasn’t combative but emotional over the death of her two dogs, according to the report.
The plane landed in Jacksonville and Delta said local law enforcement removed the unruly woman from the plane. Fine wasn’t arrested and was allowed to go home in a rental car, the report said.
The aircraft then continued to West Palm Beach, where it arrived shortly after 11 p.m. Monday.
This is not the first time a dispute over a reclining seat led to an unscheduled landing.
Last month, United Airlines Flight 1462 from Newark to Denver had to be diverted to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after a fight started because one passenger was using the Knee Defender, a $21.95 gadget that attaches to a passenger’s tray table and prevents the person in front of them from reclining.
The fight broke out when a male passenger used the device to stop the woman in front of him from reclining while he was on his laptop, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak.
A flight attendant asked him to remove the device and he refused. The woman then stood up, turned around and threw a cup of water at him, the official says. That’s when United decided to land in Chicago.
Both passengers were sitting in United’s Economy Plus section, the part of the plane that has four more inches of legroom than the rest of coach.
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