Cocaine-Snorting Anti-Masker Causes JetBlue Diversion

49

Update: A criminal complaint has now been filed against this passenger, and it contains lots more details.

JetBlue flight 915 from New York to San Francisco diverted to Minneapolis a short while ago to offload a passenger. This will cause a delay of nearly two hours — while the flight was originally scheduled to land at 5:36PM, it’s now due to land at 7:28PM.

Reader Matt was on the flight and was kind enough to pass along the details (and a video) of what happened. He explains that initially when the flight diverted the crew wouldn’t explain the reason for the diversion, other than to say that it wasn’t due to any mechanical issues. The flight attendants stated that the captain would explain the situation after the plane landed.

Once the plane landed in Minneapolis, a passenger was offloaded, and then a few minutes later the captain provided an explanation. That’s actually kind of an understatement, as the captain provided an over two minute play-by-play of the entire incident that left nothing to the imagination.

Here’s the video that Matt captured of the captain’s explanation:

To recap:

  • The passenger was seated in Mint (JetBlue’s business class) and was “annoying another passenger” with “unwanted touching, possibly inadvertent, maybe intentional, unknown”
  • The passenger then made “multiple trips to the bathroom”
  • The flight attendants were able to move passengers so that the woman being harassed felt more comfortable
  • The passenger then refused to wear his mask repeatedly, and kept going to the bathroom
  • The passenger then started antagonizing other passengers, including making knife stabbing motions towards other passengers
  • The passenger was observed exhibiting erratic behavior and “snorting a white substance”
  • While he was in the bathroom again, the crew found a bag of “white substance” at his seat
  • When the passenger returned he remained calm after being told to settle down, clearly realizing the crew had found his cocaine
  • All flight attendants felt uncomfortable, as did passengers, so that’s why the captain made the decision to divert

By all accounts it seems like the crew handled this situation very professionally, so huge kudos to them.

Matt also shares that there were reports of some passengers in the gate area at JFK noticing that the guy seemed intoxicated, and that he had been saying some racist stuff. So perhaps the ground staff should have been a bit more observant.

My gosh, this is one of the wildest inflight incidents I’ve heard of in a long time (and that’s saying a lot, because people act like fools on planes). Something tells me the FAA has a big fine coming this guy’s way…

Conversations (49)
Oldest comments are displayed first.

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Miso

    You're meant to finish your bender before you get to the airport, not kick on during the plane ride.

    Amateur.

  2. Fred

    Why are we picking on Don Jr? Leave the guy alone.

  3. Brad

    Why did they divert to Minneapolis when they were over Omaha at the time. Wouldn’t Des Monies, Lincoln or Omaha be closer?

  4. CHRIS

    Hardly worthy of a diversion and the inconvenience, missed connections etc. for everyone else. Were they afraid of the cocaine taking down the plane or that the magic air-circulating fans and hepa filters wouldn't do their job because of the maskless person who wasn't immediately eating or drinking?

  5. shoeguy

    The America First state of mind.

  6. Joe Chivas

    Oh Hunter, can't you just lay low for a few years??

  7. Sel, D.

    Anti-masker is kind of a tired term and is no longer relevant to the current situation. It’s changed from being against science to being against rules, and I’m sure you understand that Lucky. Everyone who wants a vaccine has been able to get it, and I’m not concerned about wearing a mask for the safety of anti-vaxxers.

  8. William W

    Kudos to the crew for an making the diversion. I would of been clawing to get out of that plane if that passenger had made “ knife stabbing motions” towards me.

  9. Anon

    "Everyone who wants a vaccine has been able to get it, " this not actually not quite true. You need three weeks between the two shots, then two more weeks for full immunity. It has only been four weeks since vaccines opened to all adults

  10. Peter

    It’s like we’ve forgotten about the children. I agree that essentially all adults who want the vaccine in the US have had an opportunity to get it, but the 0-12 year old group still aren’t eligible. As someone with a child in that age group, I feel like we’ve taken several steps back by more or less opening back up without a plan for them in place.

  11. David

    I guess he really wanted to join the alternative mile high club.

  12. Justin

    LMAO 5 comments in and we already have a Hunter Biden comment and a Don Jr comment. People really do have politics stuck 24/7 in their heads...get a new hobby for christ's sake

  13. TM

    @CHRIS

    Harassing and making threats to other passengers and crew while clearly impaired is “hardly worthy of a diversion”. Judging by the response and applause as the pilot describes what happened, I’d say most of the passengers disagree with you.

  14. Bob

    Brad with the diversion question. Also just about flew over FSD on the way to MSP after the turn.

  15. JD

    @Brad & @Bob...they're not going to divert to just any airport. The plane is completely flyable, no one is currently violent. If they're going to divert, they're going to a JetBlue station with personnel and services. Least disruptive.

  16. Ivan X

    I was that guy and I am never going to fly JetBlue again because they took my coke.

  17. Jake

    @Fred Sounds a lot more like Hunter Biden...

  18. Eskimo

    Agree with @CHRIS, hardly worth a diversion. This is a new low for authoritarian flight crews exercising their post 9/11 super powers.

    So now recreational drugs can threaten the safety of flight crews. From the story, doesn't seem like this addict have any aggressive behavior at all. The knife stabbing could just well be jerking off motion.

    From the video my only comment is, after a 2.30 hour delay, JetBlue regime could at least...

    Agree with @CHRIS, hardly worth a diversion. This is a new low for authoritarian flight crews exercising their post 9/11 super powers.

    So now recreational drugs can threaten the safety of flight crews. From the story, doesn't seem like this addict have any aggressive behavior at all. The knife stabbing could just well be jerking off motion.

    From the video my only comment is, after a 2.30 hour delay, JetBlue regime could at least turn on IFE.

    Or do crews get paid more flight hours after all these diversions?
    Do I see conflict of interests here?

  19. Joe1293

    How did this get by the TSA?

  20. Troy

    @brad. Jetblue flies out of Minneapolis so its easier to get the aircraft serviced from business partners there, plus there are ground staff to assist and get the flight back in tbe air as quickly as possible.

  21. WestCoastGuy

    @Chris - I find it very unlikely that someone has a connecting flight in SFO after flying in from JFK on JetBlue. SFO isn't a B6 hub.

  22. Al

    "anti-masker". Nothing like throwing in a needless pejorative to spice up a story with some mean-spiritedness. Assuming you would have thrown in "Bible Reader" too if that fact was known. Be better, Ben.

  23. David

    I'm with @AI. This guy was just effed up. How does that make him an anti-masker, implying he was trying to make a statement against wearing a mask.

  24. Henry

    @Chris handling a cocaine intoxication on board while the passenger is agitated and threatening is not easy, I actually checked what they had in medical kit on a airplane, none of the meds could calm the passenger down. So... the longer time on board will increase the risk for actually both the patient and other passengers...

  25. Sammi

    I know as a customer you feel the inconvenience of a diversion and delay, and wonder why this was a big deal with this guy, but look at it from the crew’s point of view. They are a safety team up there taking care of 150 to 200 people. When one person becomes a problem and starts threatening other people, they are compromised. They don’t need to deal with this in the air. And it...

    I know as a customer you feel the inconvenience of a diversion and delay, and wonder why this was a big deal with this guy, but look at it from the crew’s point of view. They are a safety team up there taking care of 150 to 200 people. When one person becomes a problem and starts threatening other people, they are compromised. They don’t need to deal with this in the air. And it is their job to see something like this, report to the flight deck, and remove the person as quickly as possible. The guys safety was also being thought of. This wasn’t a case of we don’t like you, it was you need help that we can’t give you.

  26. stogieguy7

    Nice to see that Hunter is doing well enough to fly Mint, though I'm sorry to hear that he lost his bag of stuff. At least he'll be ok at MSP though, daddy won't let any of those bad police officers near him.

  27. view

    Well, headline makes sende because it´s really hard to snort coke while having a mask on

  28. Kamaaina

    Comments are regurgitating the same Hunter Biden remark, once again confirming the stereotype that Trump cult members don't read before commenting or that they're just exhaustively unoriginal.

  29. Dan777

    Eskimo

    I’m hoping that was satire. Once you threaten a member of the crew that’s it, you are off, that IS grounds for a diversion. And (as an airline pilot) if you think a diversion, with a quick redispatch and an upload of fuel would be worth the paltry extra 1/2 hr of flight pay for the mandatory reports this thing will generate and general hassle and extra workload you would be very mistaken. Diversions are a PITA for the flight crew and cabin crew.

  30. Dan777

    Kamaaina

    Only after the Don Jr remark in the second comment, “confirming the stereotype that” Anti-Trump “cult members don’t read before commenting or that they’re just exhaustively unoriginal.”

    Pot calling the kettle black it seems!

    You are contributing to the devolution of this conversation..... people please contain yourselves and try as hard as you can to keep politics out of the (for us “normal” folks) non political travel stories!!

  31. Michael

    Got problems? Hand them off to Minneapolis.

  32. Sandy Needham

    Just as well for him that he was not travelling in Argentina in the old days. They did not bother to land the plane to get rid of unwanted passengers - they just opened the door and gave them a push!
    But seriously, it is comforting to see Jet Blue take this totally seriously - it is unacceptable to other passengers and to staff and should be dealt with very severely. Perhaps a lifetime ban on flying - but the Greyhound Bus company might object.

  33. Greg

    The snorter acted like an idiot. Plain and simple. When I “ahem” tried the white stuff (many many many years ago) I never acted like that in public like at at parties and yes on planes, at work etc...He just can’t handle being high in public and enjoying it without being an ASS.
    Someone else said, and I agree
    “AMATEUR “.

  34. NK

    They needed to offload him as soon as he groped his neighbor. Reseating them is a temporary fix. Zero tolerance of sexual assault in the air is absolutely necessary. For those who feel a diversion was excessive, you are part of the problem.

  35. Jay

    Says a lot about the TSA if in fact there's cocaine. I doubt it's coke.

  36. 30west

    For the "everyone that wants vaccine had a chance to get it" crowd, I want the vaccine but when I was scheduled to originally get the vaccine in mid-March I got Covid and was hospitalized. I was given monoclonal antibodies and recovered by end of March. You are not allowed to be given the vaccine for 90 days if given monoclonal antibodies or blood plasma from Covid patients. So I can't get the vaccine until...

    For the "everyone that wants vaccine had a chance to get it" crowd, I want the vaccine but when I was scheduled to originally get the vaccine in mid-March I got Covid and was hospitalized. I was given monoclonal antibodies and recovered by end of March. You are not allowed to be given the vaccine for 90 days if given monoclonal antibodies or blood plasma from Covid patients. So I can't get the vaccine until mid-June and the second shot in early July so mid-July before people like me are fully protected.

  37. kenindfw

    The guy was a safety risk period. Doesn't matter any of the other issues. Cocaine is a stimulant and the last thing you want is some "coked up" dude in any fuselage. No telling what else could have happened. I do get irritated when "people behaving badly" impacts everyone on the flight. Fine or no fine from the FAA JB should hold up any of his future trips (not necessarily ban him) but make him sweat some.

  38. MKLDH

    An intoxicated drug head that harasshes other passengers and crew members doesn't deserve a diversion? I bet people making this type of comment are also high on drugs when checking the post.

  39. DC not in DC

    Bill Clinton swears he did not have sex with that woman and did not inhale.

  40. JWags

    Everyone blaming TSA, do you realize how easy it is to sneak any non-liquid past TSA? If not going through a body scanner, all you need to do is keep it in your pocket. Even in your carryon, if its in a toiletry case, its probably not going to flag. They (and those K9 units in airports) are primarily looking for weapons and explosives. If you enforce any discretion, its a breeze. Literally says on...

    Everyone blaming TSA, do you realize how easy it is to sneak any non-liquid past TSA? If not going through a body scanner, all you need to do is keep it in your pocket. Even in your carryon, if its in a toiletry case, its probably not going to flag. They (and those K9 units in airports) are primarily looking for weapons and explosives. If you enforce any discretion, its a breeze. Literally says on their website they are not actively looking for drugs. People travel with marijuana from legal states to non-legal states all the time. And that at least has a detectable odor.

  41. Mike

    @Brad - Because they knew MSP cops would prolly beat him to death...

  42. Kreeeesta

    Yeah, something tells me the FAA’s “big fine” is the least of this guy’s concerns.

  43. bob

    Why divert and ditch the loser?
    1. Because the lady harassed should not be expected to be anywhere near that fool. And if the flight took another 3-4 hours the lady's lawyers will say why didn't you land the plane but instead continue to emotionally subject my client to that guy who could have kept continue to harass even if he didn't know it. 2. If the guy who is high suddenly becomes erratic...

    Why divert and ditch the loser?
    1. Because the lady harassed should not be expected to be anywhere near that fool. And if the flight took another 3-4 hours the lady's lawyers will say why didn't you land the plane but instead continue to emotionally subject my client to that guy who could have kept continue to harass even if he didn't know it. 2. If the guy who is high suddenly becomes erratic (imagine that) and takes out something (even a pen maybe) and starts stabbing the person in front of him, all the comments here would be why didn't they divert the plane he was clearly dangerous.
    Why call him anti-masker? Because he's on a plane where a mask is mandatory.

  44. Loren Southern

    My son happened to be on that flight and texted me while the problem was occurring. The passenger refused to stay seated and went to the restroom eight times, going up and down the aisle tickling people with a feather. He said that there was no question that the majority of the passengers supported the pilot's decision to divert. I think it is unreasonable to describe the flight crew as authoritarian, and the whole thing...

    My son happened to be on that flight and texted me while the problem was occurring. The passenger refused to stay seated and went to the restroom eight times, going up and down the aisle tickling people with a feather. He said that there was no question that the majority of the passengers supported the pilot's decision to divert. I think it is unreasonable to describe the flight crew as authoritarian, and the whole thing had nothing at all to do with either politics or masks, but safety.

  45. Dan777

    Loren

    But Eskimo has an uninformed opinion that they already had about airline crew and they found a way to reinforce their preconceived biases when reading this story. How dare you attempt to disturb their reality!?

  46. Trolly Dolly

    @Eskimo: stay in your lane (or igloo)

    Flight crews DO NOT get paid on a diversion until they get back in the air. Hope they gave the evidence to the cops.

  47. Shayla

    It's quite apparent that those calling the airline/staff "authoritarian" are obviously pissed that their coke-fueled outbursts won't be tolerated or welcome. Sounds like a few of you need to catch a Greyhound to rehab.

  48. Eskimo

    Oh the hate I receive. Makes me feel like I can't breathe.

    I don't condone such behavior to flight crew or anyone, nor do I support drug use.

    I'm not saying there is no grounds for diversion, there definitely is. The crew is being threatened (by ones own feeling).
    But how far would one define threaten? Any pilot would divert if a 25 year old person says I have a bomb, but would the...

    Oh the hate I receive. Makes me feel like I can't breathe.

    I don't condone such behavior to flight crew or anyone, nor do I support drug use.

    I'm not saying there is no grounds for diversion, there definitely is. The crew is being threatened (by ones own feeling).
    But how far would one define threaten? Any pilot would divert if a 25 year old person says I have a bomb, but would the pilot divert if the b-word is coming from a 5 year old or maybe 15? (serious question, if any airline pilot can chime in)
    Not that I condone using such word onboard from any age.
    Overreacting is what I'm trying to point out here. Yes please divert if a person is holding a weapon. But a junkie holding a feather?

    So far only @bob has a very reasonable argument rather then other ad hominem hate.
    Thanks @Dan777 for clarifying that diversion isn't worth the extra pay. Apologies if I offended any pilots.

Featured Comments Load all 49 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Eskimo

Oh the hate I receive. Makes me feel like I can't breathe. I don't condone such behavior to flight crew or anyone, nor do I support drug use. I'm not saying there is no grounds for diversion, there definitely is. The crew is being threatened (by ones own feeling). But how far would one define threaten? Any pilot would divert if a 25 year old person says I have a bomb, but would the pilot divert if the b-word is coming from a 5 year old or maybe 15? (serious question, if any airline pilot can chime in) Not that I condone using such word onboard from any age. Overreacting is what I'm trying to point out here. Yes please divert if a person is holding a weapon. But a junkie holding a feather? So far only @bob has a very reasonable argument rather then other ad hominem hate. Thanks @Dan777 for clarifying that diversion isn't worth the extra pay. Apologies if I offended any pilots.

Shayla

It's quite apparent that those calling the airline/staff "authoritarian" are obviously pissed that their coke-fueled outbursts won't be tolerated or welcome. Sounds like a few of you need to catch a Greyhound to rehab.

Trolly Dolly

@Eskimo: stay in your lane (or igloo) Flight crews DO NOT get paid on a diversion until they get back in the air. Hope they gave the evidence to the cops.

Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published