For the third time in a nine-day span, a fight over a reclining seat on a plane caused a commercial airline flight to be diverted.
The third instance was on a Delta Air flight from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to West Palm Beach, which ended up making an unexpected stop in Jacksonville, Florida on Monday night after a sleeping air traveler became infuriated when the woman seated in front of her reclined.
Aaron Klipin, who was also a passenger aboard Delta Flight 2370, said that when a passenger attempted to recline her seat, the woman siting directly behind her objected, according to Jacksonville’s WJXT. The angry passenger, Klipin said, had been attempting to sleep by resting her head on the tray table.
“This woman sitting next to me, knitting, tried reclining her seat back, the woman behind her started screaming and swearing,” Klipin said. “The flight attendant came over and that exacerbated what was going on.”
The irate passenger, Klipin said, “demanded the flight land.”
According to ABC news, the passenger “said something to the effect of, ‘I don’t care about the consequences. Put this plane down now.’”
Amy Fine, 32, of Boca Raton, “was escorted off the plane, interviewed, then released,” according to WJXT, which cited the Jacksonville Aviation Authority police report. “Fine said she was hit on the head with the seat in front of her reclined, and they ‘did have words,’ but claims she was not disruptive,” WJXT reported.
Delta told ABC News that the pilot chose to comply with the passenger’s request out of an “abundance of caution.” The plane eventually made it to its final destination.
All three flight attendants were interviewed, telling police fine was “disruptive and very loud,” demanding that the plane be landed immediately.
This isn’t the first airplane diversion recently. On Aug. 24, two passengers in the Economy Plus section of a United flight got into a scuffle after one attached a “knee defender” device to the seat in front of him, preventing its occupant to recline their seat.
Just days later, a French passenger got in trouble on a Paris-to-Miami flight after confronting the flight crew about a passenger reclined in a seat.
Third Flight in 9 Days Diverted Over a Reclining Seat