United Flight Forced to Turn Around After 2 Passengers Reportedly Try to Sneak into Business Class

The passengers on a flight from Newark to Tel Aviv became unruly after being asked to show proof of their assigned seats, according to Israeli news outlet N12

United Airlines plane at Newark
Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty

A United Airlines flight from Newark to Tel Aviv was forced to turn around on Thursday after two passengers reportedly attempted to sneak into business class seats.

The pair of passengers demonstrated unruly behavior after being asked to show proof of their assigned seats by the flight crew, according to Israeli news outlet N12. The disturbance forced the plane, which was near the U.S.-Canadian border at the time, to return to its origin of Newark Liberty International Airport.

A spokesperson for United Airlines confirmed that flight 90 had turned around "due to disruptive passengers on board" in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. Police met the plane upon its arrival, and the flight was ultimately canceled.

The spokesperson said the airline's New York/Newark team "provided our customers with meal vouchers and hotel accommodation and have made arrangements for customers to complete their journeys," following the incident.

One witness said two flight attendants approached the two passengers about 90 minutes into the flight and asked them to show their seat assignment, according to The Jerusalem Post. Rather than present their tickets, however, the duo reportedly became unruly.

The Port Authority Police Department did not immediately reply to PEOPLE's request for comment, but a representative told CNN, "No charges by PAPD were issued" in addition to "no further incident or reported injuries."

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This is the second time this week that an international flight has returned to its U.S. origin due to an unruly traveler. On Wednesday, a London-bound American Airlines flight was forced to return to Miami International Airport after a passenger refused to comply with the federal mask rule.

Spokesperson Laura Masvidal said in a statement to PEOPLE that the passenger in question was added to the airline's internal refuse list pending further investigation.

"The flight landed safely at MIA where local law enforcement met the aircraft," said the American Airlines statement. We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience."

Since the beginning of 2022, 151 reports of unruly passengers have been made to the Federal Aviation Administration, 92 of which were mask-related. Last year, nearly 6,000 unruly passengers incidents were reported to the FAA, with about 4,300 related to masks.

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