Flight makes U-turn over Atlantic after passenger refuses to wear mask

·1 min read

An American Airlines flight from Miami had to turn around on Wednesday night after a disruptive passenger refused to wear a mask, the airline said. American Airlines Flight 38 was heading to London with 129 passengers on board when it had to turn back.

The plane landed safely at Miami International Airport, where the flight was met by police, the airline said. Police said the passenger, who was not arrested, is a woman in her 40s, CBS station WFOR-TV reports.

"We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience," American said in a statement.

The flight was apparently in the air for about an hour and a half before it had to turn around, WFOR-TV reports. Passengers had to get off the plane after it returned to Miami, and some spoke to the station.

"Everyone was shocked," one passenger told WFOR-TV.

Another passenger said she was disappointed.

"They wouldn't really say anything, and I don't believe they told the flight attendants anything either because they said all they could say was there was an extreme incident with a passenger and they had to turn around," she told the station.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it's seen a "disturbing increase" in the number of incidents involving unruly passengers. As of Tuesday, the agency said it's received 151 reports of unruly passengers so far this year and 92 related to masks.

Top U.S. officials warn of possible Russian invasion of Ukraine

Voting rights legislation fails to advance in the Senate

Omicron batters states with low vaccination rates