A London-bound American Airlines flight from Miami was forced to turn around mid-flight and go back to Florida after a couple onboard refused to wear a mask. According to flight-tracking site FlightAware, an hour-and-a-half after taking off on Wednesday just before 8 pm, American Airlines flight 38 abandoned its international trip flying above the Atlantic Ocean.
According to CBS4 News, the couple, who is believed to be intoxicated, refused to follow the mask mandate roughly an hour into the flight. Airline spokesperson Laura Masvidal told The Post that 'disruptive couple refusing to comply with the federal mask mandate,' was the reason the Boeing 777 had to turn around mid-flight and land back at Miami International Airport.
The unruly couple's noncompliant behavior towards the crew members made the captain turn the plane around as they did not want to fly another 7 hours with disruptive passengers. Once the plane landed back at the MIA, more than 100 passengers were told to get off, most of whom had no idea why did the flight return to Miami.
The flight was canceled
"They wouldn't really say anything and I don't think they told the flight attendants anything because all they would say is there was an extreme incident and they had to turn around," one passenger said.
As a result of the incident, the flight was canceled and re-booked for Thursday.
Masvidal noted that after the flight landed at the Miami International Airport, local law enforcement met the aircraft. "We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience," Masvidal said.
The identity of the passengers who refused to put on a mask was not clear. A woman in her 40s was escorted off the plane but was not charged by the police. She, however, was put on American Airlines' internal no-fly list pending an investigation into the disruptive investigation, the spokesperson noted.