Passenger's Rage Over Meal Leads to Unscheduled Stop

Business-class customer reportedly wasn't happy with the options available; United flight is diverted
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2023 10:05 AM CDT
Flight Diverts After Passenger Rages Over Meal
A United Airlines airplane lands at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Nov. 23.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

A United Airlines flight had to divert just two hours into what should have been a 9.5-hour journey Sunday after a business-class passenger became enraged over meal options. According to the Guardian, the passenger, who would've paid around $7,000 for the upgraded seat, caused a fuss after being told that their first choice of meal wasn't available. Flight tracking website Flightradar24 reported that the plane, which departed Houston around 4:20pm local time bound for Amsterdam, began circling Chicago's O'Hare International Airport roughly two hours into the journey. It ultimately jettisoned fuel to reduce its weight before landing.

An aviation insider on Twitter shared internal United communications indicating a "threat level 1" due to a "disruptive" passenger on board the flight. The passenger in seat 11G "was noted to be intoxicated as well, but meal choice seems to have been an enragement point," wrote @XJonNYC, per the Houston Chronicle. In a later statement, United said the flight "diverted to O'Hare International Airport and landed safely following a passenger disturbance," per the Guardian. "Law enforcement met the aircraft at the gate and escorted the passenger off the plane. The aircraft then continued to Amsterdam." The flight landed in the Netherlands about three hours late, Flightradar24 reported. (More unruly passenger stories.)

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