Plane Returns to Dulles After Fist Fight

Passenger fight forces flight back to airport

By John Wist
| Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011 | Updated 10:05 AM EDT

Plane Returns to Dulles After Fist Fight
Getty Images

Usually, an argument could be settled easily by asking your foe to step outside.
But when you are on a plane, things get a little complicated — especially when fighter jets are called in.

A United Airlines flight that took off from Dulles International Airport early Monday morning returned soon after because the FAA said two men got into a fist fight over how much a seat was reclined.
The flight from Dulles to Ghana was stopped shortly after takeoff at about midnight Sunday. Investigators said one traveler got upset when the man in front of him put his seat all the way back.

During the confrontation, government officials said two F-16s were scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base to escort the plane back to Dulles. And a United spokesman said that the Boeing 767, with 144 people on board, dumped fuel as a safety precaution to lighten its load on landing.
There is no word yet on whether charges will be filed against either passenger.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Washington

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One response to “Plane Returns to Dulles After Fist Fight

  1. I feel the individuals involved were very immature in handling the situation, as (1) they inconvenienced all the passengers by causing them a delayed arrival to their destination; (2) caused the passengers discomfort and stress of witnessing a confrontation during a flight, which these days with terrorist attacks, etc. feared, is extremely stressful; (3) and caused the airline to dump fuel and bear that cost when fuel is so expensive these days. The whole situation could have been avoided and not elevated to this level by the exercise of a a more mature behavior provided from both individuals in handling a bad situation. They both should be ashamed and embarrassed by their public behavior. They should be held responsible in some way.

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