An Israel-bound United Airlines flight returned to New Jersey on Thursday, January 20 after two unruly Israeli passengers grabbed business class seats in a half-full plane. The passengers clashed with the cabin crew and refused to prove they had tickets to sit in the business class seats, according to The Times of Israel.
The incident occurred about 90 minutes into the flight. The passengers were arrested after the plane landed back in New Jersey. The United Airlines overnight flight took off at 11 pm local time Thursday for Tel Aviv, where it was scheduled to arrive Friday afternoon.
United Airlines said in a statement to The Post that the flight was subsequently canceled and the rest of the passengers were provided with meal vouchers and hotel accommodation. "Our team has made arrangements for customers to complete their journeys," the airlines noted.
The passengers refused to show tickets to business class seats
According to The Times of Israel, a passenger, Roi Eitan told Channel 12 News the two Israeli passengers went to sit in the business section of the half-full plane and started an argument with the cabin crew when asked to show tickets for the business class seats.
After the passengers refused to comply and the argument grew further, the captain decided to turn the plane around back to New York. The identities of the said passengers are not clear at the moment.
United Airlines said in a statement to Channel 12 that the safety of their passengers is their priority and that the company does not tolerate any 'inappropriate behavior.'
The incident surfaced a few days after 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.
The FAA recorded 5,981 rowdy passenger incidents last year. Most of them were due to passengers refusing to comply with COVID-19 mandates.