Houston, we have a problem. Rather, three of them, and they were all booted from an Aeromexico flight that had to be diverted to the Texas city after a reportedly drunken confrontation over face masks. According to an incident report from the Houston Police Department cited by CNN, Aeromexico Flight 617 was set to fly from Toronto to Mexico City this week, but instead ended up landing at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport at almost 4 in the morning on Thursday after crew told two men and a woman midflight they couldn't drink alcohol and the individuals pushed back. "Following that incident, all three individuals kept refusing to cover their faces with their masks, were rude, confrontational, and appeared to be intoxicated," a police spokesman says.
The captain was alerted, the plane made its unexpected landing in Houston, and police removed the three passengers from the aircraft. One male passenger and the female were taken to the city's Sobering Center, which lets people chill out while the booze works its way out of their system. KHOU notes that the third person, a male passenger, couldn't be brought to the sobering-up facility because, for reasons not made clear, he wasn't allowed to come into the United States. No charges have been filed. A Houston Airport System rep tells CNN that after the passengers were removed from the plane, it took off again for Mexico City.
Although the CDC last week issued guidance saying most people in the US no longer need to wear face masks, there's still a federal transportation mask mandate in place until at least March 18, reports Jalopnik. Per WebMD, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union representing flight attendants has asked the Biden administration to extend that deadline, as crew feels some passengers, especially younger children who have yet to get access to vaccines, would still be at risk. (Read more unruly passenger stories.)