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Alaska Flight Diverted After Passenger Twice Attempts to Light Cigarette

Alaska Flight Diverted After Passenger Twice Attempts to Light Cigarette
Jackie Reddy

An Alaska Airlines flight bound for Philadelphia had to be diverted during the course of its journey from San Francisco after a passenger twice attempted to light their cigarette. The incident, which saw Alaska Airlines Flight 1138 divert to Chicago, happened in the early hours of Thursday morning.

A Philadelphia-bound Alaska Airlines flight from San Francisco had to be diverted this week after a passenger twice attempted to light a cigarette in mid-air, reports CNN. The incident occurred on Alaska Airlines Flight 1138, which was diverted to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in the early hours of Thursday morning.

According to the outlet, the unnamed passenger was warned twice by the cabin crew not to light a cigarette in the cabin.

The carrier confirmed the incident to the outlet, saying, “Due to a disruptive passenger on board and out of an abundance of caution, the flight was diverted to Chicago and landed at 4:22 a.m. local time.”

Local police in Chicago met the craft upon landing and escorted the passenger, who was described as “somewhat belligerent”, off of the plane. The plane then re-fueled before continuing its onward journey.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has confirmed that it is investigating the incident, but Alaska has not offered any additional comment.

[Image Source: Getty]

View Comments (5)


  1. Icecat

    April 13, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Perhaps the passenger had second thoughts about going to Philly…after they do boo Santa Claus in that city..

  2. sfoeuroflyer

    April 14, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    This was a diversion out of an abundance of bad judgment. Arrest the creep upon landing and put him on the do not fly list for the rest of his life. All of the other pax were massively inconvenienced. One more hour of flight time to the destination would have been inconsequential.

  3. mvoight

    April 17, 2019 at 10:56 am

    They should sue him for all costs involved.

  4. davistev

    April 17, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    A belligerent passenger with matches or a lighter on him is cause for immediate landing. It does not take long for a fire to start as evidenced by Air Canada 797 over CVG. 21 people died on that flight.

  5. N1120A

    April 17, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    A passenger on an Olympic flight literally died due to cigarette smoke exposure. The airplane environment is not one for concentrated toxins, especially when there are unknown quantities among passengers with regards to cigarette reactions. If airlines are going to ban peanuts, they should definitely taken this kind of precaution.

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