Three allegedly intoxicated passengers caused an AeroMéxico flight heading from Toronto to Mexico City to divert to Houston early Thursday morning. As Flight Aware reported, the unruly passengers— two men and one woman— were caught drinking alcohol on the plane after being told alcohol was not allowed on the flight by a flight attendant.
The airline’s employees asked them to finish their beverages and cover their faces with masks. Fearing that this incident could risk the safety of the flight, the flight attendant called the plane’s pilot, who then diverted the plane to Houston.
“Following that incident, all three individuals kept refusing to cover their faces with their masks, were rude, confrontational and appeared to be intoxicated,” police department spokesman Kese Smith told Flight Aware.
On landing at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, police entered AeroMéxico Flight 617 and removed all three unruly passengers from the aircraft. Two passengers were transported to Houston’s Sobering Center, a facility where people can go without being arrested to avoid a criminal record for public intoxication.
No charges were filed against either passenger. The third passenger was left in the care of Customs and Border Protection.
Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Yolanda Choates said Thursday evening that “all three Canadian nationals departed for Toronto, Canada, today at 6:20 p.m. CST. CBP officers remained at the gate, ensuring their departure.”
After Houston Police intervened, the flight departed shortly after to Mexico City.
AeroMéxico did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The incident is another chapter of the increasing number of unruly passengers on planes, which has been seen over the past few years. In 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration said it was the worst year on record for unruly airplane passenger behavior in the United States.
There were 5,981 reports of unruly passengers that were registered by the FAA. Unruly passengers can face penalties, which can include heavy fines and incarceration.