An unruly passenger has forced an American Airlines flight to divert after he began punching seats, smoking and yelling at other passengers.
The flight was travelling from Phoenix to Minneapolis on Friday when a male passenger began acting out around an hour after take-off.
Jim Dickey, a passenger on the flight who was on his way to a convention, told CNN the man was yelling and threatening fellow passengers.
“He punched the seat in front of him and the lady screamed,” Dickey said, adding that the pilot announced the plane would be diverting about 20 minutes after the incident began.
“You could tell by the sound that the plane started descending pretty quickly after the flight attendants started to notice,” he said.
The man went into the bathroom and began smoking, according to Dickey, where he yelled: “you’re all screwed”.
TMZ reported flight attendants were “super concerned” and huddled around the bathroom while the man was inside.
After leaving the bathroom, the man returned to his seat and began smoking a “joint”, according to TMZ, and also told the people seated around him that he was under the influence of cocaine.
Footage published by TMZ shows the man trying to smoke the joint as police approach him and he throws a punch at a fellow passenger.
American Airlines confirmed “flight 2408 from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) diverted to Denver International Airport (DEN) due to a disruptive passenger”.
“Law enforcement met the flight, and the aircraft re-departed. Thank you to our crew members for taking care of our customers during this situation,” the airline said in a statement to Travel Weekly.
Denver police told TMZ the man was not arrested or charged as a result of the disturbance and was treated in hospital instead after determining the issue was medical as the man was in crisis.