An American Airlines flight from Miami to London this week turned around and headed back to the U.S. after a passenger refused to wear a face mask.
The flight took off at approximately 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, and it landed again at Miami International Airport approximately 90 minutes later, according to flight trackers. American Airlines spokesperson Curtis Blessing confirmed to USA TODAY that the flight returned to Miami “due to a disruptive customer refusing to comply with the federal mask requirement.”
Blessing also confirmed that local law enforcement met the aircraft after it returned to the airport.
A Miami-Dade Police Department spokesperson told USA TODAY that a woman in her 40s was escorted off the plane for refusing to wear a face mask.
Police have not arrested the woman, and the department spokesperson said American Airlines will handle incident administratively. The woman has been placed on the airline’s list of customers not allowed to fly, pending an investigation from the airline.
There were no injuries reported from the incident.
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The flight was canceled, and the other travelers onboard were scheduled on later flights, according to multiple reports. The original flight had 129 passengers and 14 crew members on board.
The Transportation Security Administration mandates that travelers wear face masks and coverings on airplanes, trains, and buses and in airports and train stations during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. President Joe Biden last month announced that the mandate will be extended through at least March 18.
The rate of unruly passenger incidents reached record highs last year. In 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration received nearly 6,000 reports of unruly passengers, including 4,290 incidents related to masks.
The FAA has reported 151 reports of unruly passengers this year as of Tuesday, including 92 incidents related to face masks.
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort