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:
- 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…