TWO FLIGHTS TURN BACK Unruly passengers cause problems on Sunwing and Delta
Posted on 07/07/2017 | About Coco Cayo, Cuba
A Sunwing Airlines flight bound for Cuba had to return to Montreal's Trudeau International Airport on Thursday evening under a fighter jet escort due to an “unruly customer.” On the other side of the continent, a Delta Airlines flight bound for Beijing returned to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after a passenger assaulted a flight attendant.
A Sunwing spokesperson said flight WG604 had departed for Cayo Coco but turned around due to the passenger making “non-specific threats.”
“The flight arrived back around 7:25 p.m. and the disruptive customer was taken into police custody,” said Rachel Goldrick in an email to The Canadian Press.
The passenger's name was not released, nor was the specific nature of the threats.
NORAD spokesman Lt. Commander Joe Nawrocki said a pair of US Air Force F-15 jets were dispatched from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts and intercepted the aircraft near Albany, N.Y.
Canadian CF18s were also reportedly scrambled but did not take part in the operation.
Goldrick said it would early Friday before the 170 passengers would be able to board the next flight to Cayo Coco.
“Unfortunately the next viable departure slot to operate into Cayo Coco is 4:30 a.m.,” she said.
“Sunwing has provided affected customers with accommodations and meal vouchers and is very apologetic for the inconvenience.”
This was the second such incident involving a North American flight on Thursday night.
Officials say a Delta Airlines flight bound for Beijing returned to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after a passenger assaulted and injured a flight attendant.
Airport spokesman Perry Cooper says a man in first class assaulted a flight attendant about 45 minutes into the flight and that passengers then helped restrain the man until the plane landed back in Seattle and police arrested the man, whose name has not been released.
Officials say two people, including the flight attendant, were injured and taken to a hospital.
Passenger Dustin Jones was seated just behind the curtains that lead to first class, and said he could tell there was a scuffle happening.
“One of the flight attendants ran back and said there was a Code 3,” Jones told KIRO-TV. “There was a serious fight up front.”
Jones said he saw the man handcuffed and zip-tied being rolled into the terminal in a wheelchair after they had landed.
“He started yelling for help,” Jones said. “And so he turned the wheelchair over in the middle of the airport, screaming for people to help him, just being belligerent.”
Airport officials said they conferred with the FBI and the incident is not thought to be a national security threat.