Aviation

Flight diverted after passenger fakes medical emergency to get an upgrade

Staff at Travel Weekly have done a lot of things in our time to try and get an upgrade, but this woman’s efforts really take the cake.

A woman on an American Airlines flight from Pensacola, Florida to Miami allegedly faked a medical emergency so she could get a bigger seat.

Pensacola Police Department public information officer Mike Wood told US media outlet ABC News the woman faked the emergency after she was told she couldn’t get a larger seat because “the seats were all the same”.

The New York Post reported the pilot of the flight didn’t realise the emergency wasn’t real and decided to turn the plane around and land back in Pensacola.

“The pilot declared an emergency… once they got on the ground, she made it clear that she was faking the medical condition to get a bigger seat,” Wood told NBC 6.

Once the plane was back on the ground, the woman refused to deplane until the pilot, law enforcement and medical professionals convinced her she had to. She was reportedly taken into custody under Florida’s Baker Act which allows authorities to detain a person who poses a threat to themselves or others.

American Airlines told Travel Weekly in a statement that American Eagle flight 3508 returned to Pensacola due to a passenger who requested medical assistance.

“The flight took off at 5:43am and landed back at Pensacola at 6:26am and taxied to the gate. All passengers deplaned normally at the gate through the main boarding door and onto the jet bridge,” the airline said.

“The passenger was subsequently removed by law enforcement and medical personnel, and the flight took off again at 7:41am.”

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