F-16s Escort United Flight After Reclined Seat Leads To Slapfest

We’ve all gotten annoyed at a passenger in front of us who reclines his seat too far into our space, but most of the time it doesn’t lead to two fighter jets escorting the plane for an unscheduled landing.

The Washington Post reports that United Airlines Boeing 767 took off from Dulles International airport at 10:44 PM and was bound for Ghana this Sunday when one of the 144 passengers onboard reclined his seat into the crotch of the traveler behind him. One of them slapped the other and a flight attendant and another passenger had to jump in to break it up.

It was decided that it would be better to land the plane and air traffic directed the plane to circle for 25 minutes to burn off fuel. At 11:03 PM, just as the United flight re-entered the DC airspace, two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base to tag along.

At 11:10 PM, air traffic control asked how things were going with the slapper. “The passenger is not secured at this time; the passenger has settled down, though, but an assault has taken place, but at this time he is not secured,” replied the cockpit.

I wonder if the Air Force will send a bill to United for the cost of the mission, considering it’s their fault the legroom was so cramped…

Airplane annoyance leads to brouhaha in the skies over D.C. [Washington Post via OutsideTheBeltway] (Thanks to David!)