Cash Or Credit Dispute Causes JetBlue Plane To Divert
Kevin Theodore Simon, 45, of Venice, Calif., was arrested by the FBI in Salt Lake City on a federal charge of interference with a flight crew. He remained in jail following a federal court appearance today.
In details just emerging, FBI spokeswoman Debbie Dujanovic tells AOL Travel News Simon became increasingly unruly on the overnight flight from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale.
The dispute "apparently began with a request for a headset and the flight attendant informed him they don't accept cash," Dujanovic says. JetBlue only accepts credit cards for onboard purchases.
According to the FBI complaint, Simon "became argumentative and later was denied an alcoholic beverage as well," Dujanovic says.
After other passengers complained, Simon was moved to another seat. But the incident further escalated when a flight attendant was moving something from an overhead bin and Simon said he was bumped.
"He demanded an apology and was given a toll-free number to file a complaint. And then he began spouting 'I will take this plane down.' At that point, the pilot made the decision to land the plane in Salt Lake City," Dujanovic says.
The Airbus A320-200 landed at Salt Lake City International Airport at 12:40 a.m. Monday.
A JetBlue spokeswoman says Flight 278 was diverted "due to an unruly customer," and that the TSA and law enforcement met the flight.
Airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann says airport police assisted in the arrest.
Other passengers were delayed two hours, and arrived safely in Fort Lauderdale.
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Photo, Moto@Club4AG, flickr