Tuesday, September 2 2014, 11:39 AM EDT
Flight Diverted After Passengers Fight Over Legroom; 3rd Time in a Week
A Delta flight from New York to Florida was rerouted Monday, the airline confirmed, the third flight diversion caused by passengers fighting over legroom in recent weeks.
Delta Flight 2370 departed from New York's LaGuardia Airport at about 7 p.m. Monday, en route to West Palm Beach. The flight was diverted to Jacksonville after the disturbance, which passengers say was sparked when a woman who was knitting reclined her chair, sending the woman behind her into a rage.
"The flight attendant came over, and that just exasperated what was going on, and then [the complaining passenger] demanded that the flight land," a fellow passenger said later. "She said something to the effect of, 'I don't care about the consequences. Put this plane down now.'"
The airline complied, and the woman who complained was removed from the flight in Jacksonville. She was not arrested.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the captain elected to divert to the closest airport,” Delta said in a statement. “Local law enforcement met the flight and removed the passenger.”
The flight continued on to West Palm Beach, arriving after 11 p.m.
Clashes over shrinking legroom contributed to two incidents last week. A Miami to Paris flight landed in Boston Wednesday after air marshals on the plane restrained a man who fought with a passenger trying to recline in front of him, a law enforcement source told ABC News.
That incident came days after a man on a United Airlines flight used a product called a Knee Defender to keep the seat in front of him from reclining. The woman in front, unable to recline, got into an argument with the man and reportedly threw a cup of water in his face. Both passengers were seated in United’s Economy Plus section, which gives fliers extra legroom for an extra fee.
The argument prompted the Newark, New Jersey-to-Denver flight to be diverted to Chicago, United Airlines confirmed, adding that the unidentified passengers were not allowed back on when the plane continued on to Denver.