Flight returns to airport after woman fakes an illness to get a better seat

A woman went to extreme lengths to get a better seat on a flight from Pensacola to Miami and caused the plane to return to the airport within an hour of takeoff, police said.

Shortly after takeoff, a passenger on an American Eagle flight claimed she was in need of medical assistance, according to a statement from American Airlines, the U.S. carrier's parent company.

The woman, who has not been identified, complained to airline employees and asked for a bigger seat, the Pensacola Police Department said. When she was told that more spacious accommodations weren't available, she became ill, Pensacola Police Department Public Information Officer Mike Wood told CNN.

The pilot turned the plane around after the passenger claimed she was sick. Once they got back to the airport, employees realized the woman wasn't sick at all — she was faking it.

Employees called the police after the woman refused to get off the plane.

The woman was taken into custody and because of her comments to officials, was transported to a mental health facility under the Baker Act. The Florida law allows authorities to detain individuals believed to pose a threat to themselves or others.

Criminal charges have not been filed against the passenger, but charges could still be filed.