Unruly Passenger Forces Plane's Emergency Landing

Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to LA grounded due to 'security issue'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 26, 2014 11:07 AM CST
Unruly Passenger Forces Plane's Emergency Landing
In this May 15, 2014, photo, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-232 lands at Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Authorities say a disruptive passenger forced a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles to land at the Albuquerque International Sunport in New Mexico between 6pm and 7pm on Christmas night. Airport spokesman Daniel Jiron tells the Albuquerque Journal that Sunport police arrested the passenger, who was traveling on Delta Flight 81, once the plane landed. Jiron adds that he doesn't know the nature of the incident that made the pilot feel he had to land the plane. He also notes that the FBI was called, which is standard in cases like this.

Lauri Springer, a college student on the flight, tells NBC station KOB that the incident happened in the front first-class area. "We didn't really know what was going on. There was no commotion, no yelling," she says, per NBC News. "We got about 20 minutes outside of Albuquerque and the pilot came on and said that we were going to be making an emergency landing in Albuquerque because of a security issue he was concerned with." The man was not charged and didn't get back on the plane; the plane left for Los Angeles around 8pm. (Read more Delta Air Lines stories.)

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