If you think this is déjà vu all over again, you may be right. A second passenger fight on board a Delta airliner, this time, forced the flight to be diverted and authorities removed the unruly passenger upon arrival at the unscheduled location.
The latest passenger fight over leg room is similar to the one which made headlines a couple of weeks ago, when two passengers got into a fight on a United flight when the woman who was sitting in front of a man, wasn’t able to recline her seat. Things escalated when it was discovered that the man behind her was using a gadget called a Knee Defender, to prevent her from putting her seat back. The man was asked to remove the device by the flight attendant and when he didn’t the woman threw water at his face.
On Monday, a similar incident — the third in recent weeks — caused a plane that was traveling from New York to Florida to be diverted. Delta Flight 2370 departed from La Guardia International Airport at about 7 p.m. on its way to West Palm Beach, but had to be rerouted to Jacksonville, Florida, due to the disturbance.
According to eyewitnesses, two passengers got into a fight when a woman who was knitting reclined her seat and sent a second woman, sitting behind her into a fit. A fellow passenger described the scene:
“The flight attendant came over, and that just exasperated what was going on, and then (the complaining passenger) demanded that the flight land. She said something to the effect of, ‘I don’t care about the consequences. Put this plane down now.'”
There was no Knee Defender involved in the Delta incident, however, tempers were just as high, in something which has become all too common in recent weeks. Maybe we are hearing more about passengers fighting over leg room on board planes lately, however, Ira Goldman — inventor of the now infamous Knee Defender — said the gadget has been around for 11-years, but this is the first time a fight erupts because of it.
“It’s a courtesy issue. If someone’s sitting behind you and the person’s legs are already there, then the airline is trying to do what they did in The Producers. They sell me the space for my seat, for my legs and then they sell the space to somebody else to recline. But obviously the reclined seat and my legs can’t be there at the same time.”
In the case of the most recent passenger fight, Delta complied with the passenger’s demands and landed the plane at the nearest airport. In a statement the airliner said:
“Out of an abundance of caution, the captain elected to divert to the closest airport. Local law enforcement met the flight and removed the passenger.”
Following the United passenger fight on August 24, a plane traveling from Miami to Paris last Wednesday had to be rerouted to Boston because of an altercation over leg room. In that case air marshals on board restrained an unruly man who got into a fight with a passenger trying to recline the seat in front of him, according to ABC News.
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