Hawaii-bound flight diverted over blanket dispute

Los Angeles International Airport. — AFP pic
Los Angeles International Airport. — AFP pic

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LOS ANGELES, March 9 — A flight from Las Vegas to Honolulu was diverted to Los Angeles yesterday after a passenger refused to pay US$12 (RM53.45) for a blanket and was accused of being unruly, police said.

The incident unfolded after the Hawaiian Airlines flight took off from Las Vegas and the passenger — a 66-year-old man — requested a blanket as he was cold, Officer Rob Pedregon, a spokesman for the Los Angeles airport police, told AFP.

When told he would have to fork out US$12 for the blanket, the unidentified man got upset and demanded to speak to a corporate representative from the airline, Pedregon said.

“During the in-flight call he allegedly said ‘I would like to take someone behind the woodshed for this’ and the pilot deemed that to be threatening behavior and ordered that the plane be diverted to Los Angeles,” he said.

Police and FBI agents met with the passenger and crew when the plane landed in Los Angeles and determined after questioning both sides that no crime had been committed, Pedregon said.

The man voluntarily abandoned his flight and caught another one, he said.

Pedregon said the incident may not be the oddest he has handled “but it ranks right up there.”

“You know, if I was a passenger on board that plane I would have paid the US$12 dollars for him,” he chuckled. — AFP

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