Tel Aviv-bound United Airlines flight turns around after passengers self-upgrade to business class: report

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An Israel-bound United Airlines flight turned around mid-route and headed back to New Jersey after some passengers self-upgraded to business class, according to multiple reports. 

The flight was reportedly supposed to touch down in Tel Aviv on Friday. However, a fight ensued between two Israeli passengers and cabin staff more than an hour into the flight, according to The Times of Israel. 

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The flight was reportedly half full when the two passengers tried to self upgrade to the business section, according to the outlet. 

The passengers were asked by crew members to show their boarding passes to prove that they were supposed to be in the business section, but they refused to do so, the outlet reported. 

People are seen by the United Airlines counter at the Newark International Airport in New Jersey, United States on December 27, 2021. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The pilot subsequently turned the Boeing 787 jet around.

United Airlines told FOX Business that Flight 90, which departed on Jan. 20, returned to the airport in Newark "due to disruptive passengers on board."  

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The carrier said that law enforcement officials met the plane when it landed and that the flight was canceled. 

There were 123 customers and 11 crew members on board at the time.  

"Our team at New York/Newark have provided our customers with meal vouchers and hotel accommodation and have made arrangements for customers to complete their journeys," the airline said in a statement.  

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
UALUNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC.41.58+0.19+0.46%
AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.16.33-0.08-0.49%

This comes just after a London-bound American Airlines flight returned to Miami after a passenger refused to wear a face mask.  

AMERICAN AIRLINES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT TURNS AROUND AFTER PASSENGER REFUSES TO COMPLY WITH MASK REQUIREMENT

Airlines reported nearly 6,000 incidents involving unruly passengers last year and 151 in the first two weeks of this year, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Most of them involved passengers who refused to wear masks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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