Intoxicated United Airlines Passengers Cause Diversion to Bangor On Newark-Bound Flight

by Anthony Losanno

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A pair of allegedly intoxicated passengers caused United Airlines flight UA883 to divert to Bangor International Airport (BGR) while en route from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

As the Boeing 767-300ER entered US airspace, a pair of passengers became disruptive. It’s unknown what the passengers did (it’s rumored that they are a couple), but it was significant enough for the crew to trigger a Level 3 emergency. This level indicates life-threatening behavior such as the display of a weapon or a threat of a bomb according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

ani90 reported on FlyerTalk that their wife was on the flight:

Ms Ani90 was on this flight and they were puzzled as to why it was diverted when they were less than an hour from EWR (the flight at that point was scheduled to arrive almost an hour ahead of schedule). The offending passenger was restrained in handcuffs, and had been for the last 2 hours or so of the flight, and while still belligerent was restrained in the rear and (presumably) not a direct threat to the aircraft. Apparently, the altercation was a man having a big fight with his girlfriend. Are aircraft preferentially directed to certain airports when such threat exists?”

UA 883

Bangor Police Department met the aircraft and removed the two passengers. The FBI and Customs and Border Protection are handling the investigation, but have said that the incident was not related to terrorism per Fox News. The plane continued onto Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) shortly after the disruptive passengers were deplaned.

Anthony’s Take: There have been many incidents over the past few years with passengers behaving badly and causing diversions. I’m not sure why people need to act out at 35,000 feet, but this trend doesn’t seem to be fading.

(Featured Image Credit: Emiel Molenaar.)

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