Aviation

Alaska Airlines flight diverted to Juneau after passenger makes threats and group violates mask protocol, officials say

A recent Alaska Airlines flight heading from Seattle to Anchorage was diverted after a passenger began threatening staff and people near them and their group refused to follow instructions for mask use, officials said.

Multiple people traveling in the same group were earlier removed from Saturday’s flight prior to takeoff in Seattle for what Alaska Airlines described in a statement as “disruptive behavior.” Others in that party were allowed to stay on the flight, but once the plane was in the air, “at least one passenger who was part of the remaining group began to threaten our crew members and nearby guests,” Alaska Airlines said.

Alaska State Troopers said in an online report that the five passengers “were not following flight attendant instructions related to mask use and were using foul language during the flight.”

Troopers said there was no physical altercation.

The flight was diverted to Juneau and the five passengers were removed from the plane by troopers and Juneau police officers. The flight took off about an hour later from Juneau International Airport, according to flight-tracking data.

No charges or citations were issued related to the incident and troopers said federal law enforcement officials were notified. A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday that she could not confirm or deny whether an investigation was ongoing.

Alaska Airlines did not provide additional information or respond to questions about the incident Wednesday.

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