Unruly Passenger Disrupts Transatlantic United Airlines Flight, Passengers Stranded In Belfast

A 42-year-old man has been arrested on Saturday for endangering the safety of a plane after his unruly behavior on a United Airlines flight forced crew members to divert the flight. According to ABC News, United Airlines Flight UA971 bound to Chicago from Rome had to be diverted to Belfast in northern Ireland after the man started displaying violent behavior. At this stage, it is unclear what the man actually did. His identity too remains hidden.

According to an official from the Belfast International Airport Constabulary, the man is said to possess dual citizenship from the U.S., as well as Italy. He is set to be charged with “disruptive behavior on board an aircraft and common assault,” the official added.

Meanwhile, passengers of United Airlines Flight 971 faced a harrowing time thanks to the antics of one unruly passenger. Following the touchdown of the aircraft at Belfast, the crew onboard the aircraft were not permitted to continue their journey to Chicago as they had exceeded their working hours. This meant that all the 269 passengers and 14 crew members onboard the United Airlines flight were made to wait until a replacement aircraft arrived.

To make matter worse, the passengers were later told that there were no hotel rooms available in Belfast and that they would have to spend the night at the airport itself. Some relief did come in the form of the staff at Belfast Airport who opened up two rooms for the passengers and distributed food, water, and blankets. Several passengers were left with no option but to sleep on the floor. Several airport officials described the passengers to be “remarkably calm and understanding” in spite of the difficult situation.

In a statement issued by United Airlines, the company explained the situation.

“We understand the inconvenience this causes our customers and will refund their Rome to Chicago flight as well as offer the choice of a travel certificate or miles for our MileagePlus loyalty program.”

Meanwhile, the man remains in the custody of Irish officials and will face a trial. He is scheduled to appear at a local court on Monday, the Huffington Post confirmed.

This is the second time in as many weeks that there have been reports about passengers facing a harrowing time after traveling aboard a United Airlines flight. Last week, the Inquisitr reported about the Goose Bay incident where a United Airlines Chicago to London flight was made to land in Canada following “technical difficulties.” The passengers aboard that flight were made to spend the night in military barracks.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]