Pensacola FL December 3 2019
A Florida woman is in custody after faking a medical issue during a flight, which ultimately forced the plane to be diverted, in order to get a bigger seat.
The woman, who has not been identified, falsely claimed to have a medical issue during a Friday morning American Airlines flight from Pensacola to Miami.
The pilot declared an emergency and turned the plane back to Pensacola after the woman reported having trouble breathing.
Flight crews called authorities to Pensacola International Airport, where the woman admitted she had made up the medical issue in order to get a bigger seat.
The woman initially refused to leave the plane, prompting a complete evacuation of the aircraft.
But authorities and the pilot were eventually able to convince her to exit the plane.
“American Eagle 3508 returned to Pensacola due to a passenger who requested medical assistance,” American Airlines said in a statement to NBC News on Friday.
“All passengers deplaned normally at the gate through the main boarding door and onto the jet bridge.
“The passenger was subsequently removed by law enforcement and medical personnel, and the flight took off again at 7.41am.”
The woman was taken into protective custody under the state’s Baker Act, which allows authorities to detain individuals believed to pose a threat to themselves or others.
Criminal charges have not been filed yet against the woman.