American Airlines Flight on Its Way to London Made U-Turn Back to Miami After Passenger Refused to Wear Mask

An American Airlines plane bound for London turned around mid-flight and flew 500 miles back to Miami when a passenger refused to wear a mask.

Photograph of American Airlines at airport

Image via Getty/Robert Alexander

Photograph of American Airlines at airport

Unfortunately, at this point, a passenger not wanting to wear a face mask on their flight is a tale as old as time.

On Wednesday, an American Airlines flight from Miami to London had to turn around after being in the air for one hour and 48 minutes because a passenger declined to wear a face covering, CBS News reports. The passenger, a woman in her 40s, was then met by police at the airport, though she wasn’t arrested.

“American Airlines flight 38 with service from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR) returned to MIA due to a disruptive customer refusing to comply with the federal mask requirement,” American Airlines said in a statement, per CNN.

There were a total of 129 passengers, all of whom had to deplane in Miami; the flight was subsequently canceled. According to Now This, the plane had traveled 500 miles of its 4,000-mile journey before turning around.

“Once the plane made it to the gate, the passenger was escorted off the plane by MDPD officers without incident. The passenger was then dealt with administratively by American Airlines staff,” said Detective A. Colome from the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Since Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration has gotten 151 reports of disorderly passengers from this year alone, with 92 of those incidents related to face masks.

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