West Palm Beach Flight Diverted After Reclined-Seat Argument
Reclining seats on a flight have been a major source of debate on the internet lately. So it stands to reason that it was only a matter of time the issue come around to our neck of the woods.
Photo by Douglas P. Perkins via Wikimedia Commons
And now it has.
According to Delta Airlines, a flight bound for West Palm Beach was forced to divert after a female passenger complained that a woman sitting in front her reclined her seat. The woman demanded the flight turn around.
Delta flight 2370, which left New York's La Guardia late Monday night, was not far from getting to its intended destination at Palm Beach International Airport when it was rerouted for an unscheduled stop in Jacksonville shortly after a Boca woman aboard the plane became unruly over the reclined seat.
According to passengers, the woman, Amy Fine, was resting with her head on the tray when the woman in front of her reclined her seat back.
That's when passengers say she lost it.
According to WJXT in Jacksonville, one witness said Fine unleashed a profanity-laced tirade on the woman who had reclined her seat.
When flight attendants tried to intervene and calm down the situation, Fine reportedly told them to "eat shit and die," according to the Jacksonville Aviation Authority police report.
According to ABC News, one witness said that Fine "said something to the effect of, 'I don't care about the consequences. Put this plane down now.'"
The flight, which took off from New York at 7:30 p.m., was rerouted and landed in Jacksonville around 9:30.
It would not get to West Palm Beach until 11 p.m. -- 90 minutes past its scheduled arrival time.
The police report says that Fine "was escorted off the plane, interviewed, then released."
Fine claimed she was hit on the head when the seat in front of her reclined and admitted that she and the other woman got into a heated argument but said she was not disruptive, according to the report.
For its part, Delta released a statement on the incident:
"Out of an abundance of caution, the captain elected to divert to the closest airport," the airline said. "Local law enforcement met the flight and removed the passenger."
This was the third incident in the last month prompted by angry passengers and reclined seats.
A man aboard a United Airlines flight used a device called the "knee-defender" to keep the woman in front of him from reclining her seat. This prompted an argument that led to the man allegedly throwing a cup of water at the woman's face. That flight, which was headed to Denver from New Jersey, had to be rerouted to Chicago.
Another time, a Miami-to-Paris flight was rerouted to Boston when a man had to be restrained after fighting with another passenger who had reclined the seat in front of him.
As for Fine, she was released without incident after speaking with police. She explained that her dog had recently passed away and that she had been very emotional.