By: April Carson
On Thursday morning, a Toronto-to-Mexico City AeroMéxico flight was diverted to Houston after three passengers appeared to be inebriated. The passengers were reportedly causing a disturbance on board the aircraft, and as a result, they were removed from the plane by authorities.
According to witnesses, the three passengers were being loud and disruptive, and at one point, they even got into a physical altercation with one another. In response to their behavior, the pilot made the decision to divert the flight to Houston.
At 3:42 a.m., AeroMéxico Flight 617 came in to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.
The passengers, two males and a woman, were prohibited from drinking alcohol by a flight attendant and advised to finish their drinks, according To the Houston Police Department's version of events.
But, according to police department spokesman Kese Smith, following the event, all three people refused to cover their faces with their masks, were rude and confrontational, and appeared to be under the influence.
The flight attendant notified the captain, who directed the plane to Houston as a precaution.
The airline staff met the flight, and all three passengers were removed from the plane. Two passengers went to Houston's Sobering Center, a facility that allows individuals to be transported without being arrested in order to avoid a criminal record for public drunkenness.
Charges were not filed against either of the passengers. According to Smith, the third passenger was left in the care of Customs and Border Protection since he had a no-entry to the United States restriction, thus we can't take him to the Sobering Center because that would be entering the United States.
CBP said the three Canadians left for Toronto, Canada, today at 6:20 p.m. "All three Canadian nationals departed for Toronto, Canada, this afternoon at 6:20 p.m.," according to Yolanda Choates of CBP. CBP officers ensured their departure by staying at the gate."
"A suspect was detained and the passengers were removed from the plane by Houston Police and CBP," airport spokesperson Augusta Bernal stated via email. "The flight left soon after for Mexico City," she added.
A major issue in the United States
Last year, with nearly 6,000 reports of unruly behavior recorded by the Federal Aviation Administration, passenger unruliness reached new heights in the United States. The FAA has received 712 reports thus far this year.
The DMSC said in early February that 80 of the disruptive events on aircraft since the start of 2017 have been referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution.
In February, an American Airlines flight attendant approached a rowdy passenger and hit him in the head with a coffee pot as he attempted to open the plane's door. The passenger was charged with one count of assaulting and intimidating a flight crew member in that situation, which involved the FBI.
The FAA does not have the authority to pursue criminal penalties, but it may propose fines of up to $37,000 per infraction for disorderly conduct.
In November, the FAA proposed $161,823 in civil penalties against eight passengers for alcohol-related unruly behavior.
Delta Airlines has also faced similar fines in the past. In December, the airline was fined $180,000 for a November 2016 incident in which three passengers were accused of smoking marijuana and causing a disturbance on board.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
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