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Jets Scrambled After Fliers Brawl Over Reclining Seats

United flight to Ghana forced to turn back
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2011 3:20 AM CDT
Updated Jun 1, 2011 6:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – It can be annoying when the passenger in front of you moves his seat all the way back—but smacking him in the head isn't the answer. That's what sparked a fight between two passengers on a United Airlines flight to Ghana, and convinced a concerned pilot to make an emergency return to Washington DC's Dulles airport—shadowed by a pair of fighter jets.

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A flight attendant and another passenger tried to stop the brawl while the pilot turned back because he was unsure of the scope of the problem, sources tell the Washington Post. The 767 was forced to fly around in circles for around 25 minutes to burn off enough fuel to be able to land safely. Police officers met the unruly passengers on arrival, but decided against pressing charges. (Read more United Airlines stories.)

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