Seventy-five minutes into its 11-hour flight from New Zealand to Chile, a LATAM Airlines plane had to turn back because of a “disruptive passenger.”
The flight was 466 miles in the air on the night of May 3 when the decision to turn around was made in an effort to protect the people on board, Stuff reported.
‘Nothing was clear’: Passengers describe disturbing moment air crew broke into toilet on LATAM Chile flight re-routed to Auckland https://t.co/qHAV78ExKO #LA800 #LATAM #aviation #security via @nzherald
— Video Forensics (@Video_Forensics) April 29, 2019
The troublesome passenger was detained by using the Immigration Act, according to the news outlet. Police stated that there was an incident during the flight “involving only the passenger in question.”
A LATAM spokesperson said that no one on the plane was harmed.
He did not want to say what it was that the “disruptive passenger” did to make the pilots call the police and make the decision to go back.
The plane was a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, it left Auckland about 6:30 p.m. and returned three hours later.
— Kenneth Brown (@spotter_scl) March 7, 2019
Airways spokeswoman Emma Lee said that the pilot had requested police approach the plane upon arrival. She said it would not be appropriate to comment further on the occurrence.
Some passengers were complaining of the delay and lack of communication “So will our bags still be left in the same spot in Auckland Airport customs?” said one Twitter user who seemed to have been on the 787 Dreamliner.
So will our bags still be left in the same spot in Auckland Airport customs? @AKL_Airport Coming up to four hours since landing on flight LA800. #aucklandairport needs to learn communucation skills. pic.twitter.com/unAdTJb7GN
— Anthony (@workingnomad) December 8, 2018
Andrea Bastos was also on the flight. Her son, Fabrizio Farra, spoke to The Herald on behalf of his mother.
He said that the passenger was “out of his mind. He didn’t want to go, then he said he did. Flight attendants had to break into the bathroom, then they dragged him to the kitchen area and tried to calm him down.”
Farra said his mother felt they could have been informed better. “She felt the airline could have been more honest.,” he said. “The flight was already late two hours so she was really tired of the whole situation by the time she got to Auckland.”
— John Brennon (@JB721) April 26, 2019
— Video Forensics (@Video_Forensics) April 26, 2019
Media have published updates as they have become apparent or more information has come to light.