Incident: United Airlines A320 near Chicago on Mar 29th 2011, unruly passengers
|By Simon Hradecky, created Wednesday, Mar 30th 2011 15:47Z, last updated Wednesday, Mar 30th 2011 21:20Z |
A United Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N403UA performing flight UA-251 from Washington Dulles,DC to Portland,OR (USA) with 135 passengers, was enrotue at FL340 about 150nm northwest of Chicago O'Hare Airport when the crew decided to divert to Chicago to offload three passengers that had not complied with cabin crew instructions. The crew requested Chicago's runway 10 indicating they were landing overweight. The airplane landed safely on runway 10 about 35 minutes later.
All passengers had to pass a security screening in Chicago. Following checks the airplane was able to continue the flight without the offending passengers and reached Portland with a delay of 4.5 hours.
The airline said, that 2 or 3 passengers did not follow crew instructions prompting the crew to divert. The situation on board may have been complicated by another passenger not feeling well.
In a later statement the airline reported, that 3 men were involved in the "customer service issue", the men blocking the aisle and not responding to cabin crew requests to clear the aisle near the rear of the aircraft, most of the other passengers remained unaware of the events. The nationalities of the men are not being disclosed by either police or the airline.
A passenger reported, one of the men was on his hands and knees in an aisle near the rear emergency exit and appeared to be ill, his companion attempted to help the ill. Both did not speak English. A third passenger unrelated to the two attempted to translate. The captain announced they were diverting to Chicago due to a medical issue. All three were removed from the aircraft after landing, the translator however returned and continued the flight, the other two did not continue. All passengers went through another security screening, all belongings left on board were also screened. After departure from Chicago the captain explained that he had become concerned about the interactions with the ill man reported by the cabin crew.
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