Odd behavior prompts United to divert flight headed for Portland

Odd behavior prompts United to divert flight headed for Portland »Play Video
File photo of Airbus A320 plane. (Airbus Photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Three people were removed from a United Airlines jet bound for Portland on Wednesday due to a disturbance aboard the plane, according to United Airlines officials.

Flight 251 originated in Washington, D.C. and was diverted to Chicago. It arrived in Portland about four hours late. 135 passengers were on board. No injuries were reported.

United Airlines described the situation on board as a “customer service issue” and said the passengers in question were blocking aisles and not responding to flight attendants’ requests.

Three men were reportedly involved. One man was apparently on his hands and knees in an aisle way near an emergency exit and appeared to be ill. Another passenger apparently tried to help the man, who did not speak English.

Their nationalities were not released by investigators or United Airlines.

The man in the aisle reportedly would not return to his seat. Passengers said another man with him repeatedly stood up and kept asking how long until the plane arrived in Portland. Yet another man was reportedly reading a book about weapons, according to a passenger seated next to that person. All three were taken off the plane in Chicago.

All other passengers were re-screened and the flight resumed.

The identities of the men involved have not been released and it was not specified if any faced charges for their behavior on the aircraft.

One passenger who talked to KATU said he was afraid for his safety during the incident. A United Airlines spokesperson said most passengers on board were unaware of the incident, which took place in the rear of the Airbus 320 jetliner.