London-Bound American Airlines Flight Returns To Miami Mid-Flight Over Mask-Less Passenger
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

London-Bound American Airlines Flight Returns To Miami Mid-Flight Over Mask-Less Passenger

American Airlines , London , United Kingdom , Miami , United States
Amara Amaryah
Amara Amaryah Jan 21, 2022

An American Airlines flight heading to London turned around mid-flight because a passenger would not comply with the mask-wearing rules. Yes, nearly two years into the global pandemic, people are still refusing to wear a mask on planes.

129 passengers were forced to return to MIA after the disruptive incident with the flier who refused to wear a mask for the duration of the flight. About an hour and a half – 500 miles – into the flight, the plane reversed its journey, having just made it off the North Carolina coast. 

Whilst en route to London’s Heathrow Airport, the flight returned because the passenger was suspected to be intoxicated and non-compliant. The flight was then cancelled once it returned to its starting base in Miami.

In a statement released by American Airlines, the airline apologized for the inconvenience caused for all onboard.

“American Airlines flight 38 with service from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR) returned to MIA due to a disruptive customer refusing to comply with the federal mask requirement. The flight landed at MIA, where local law enforcement met the aircraft. We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”

The Miami-Dade Police Department confirmed with CNN that American called them in relation to the in-flight disruption with the non-compliant passenger. 

Reports confirm that the woman who refused to adhere to the airline’s mask mandate was not arrested but was instead put on the airline’s internal no-fly list. The hugely disruptive incident has also incurred an impending investigation. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lists 5,981 unruly-passenger incidents in 2021, this year there have already been 151 reports of unruly-passenger incidents, 92 of which have been facemask related. 

Last year, disruptive and abusive passenger behavior overwhelmed the aviation industry with stories including airline staff being attacked to blatant refusal to comply with COVID-19 guidelines

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