Hawaiian Airlines flight diverted after alleged unruly passenger yells at attendants, FBI says
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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Hawaiian Airlines flight diverted after alleged unruly passenger yells at attendants, FBI says

  • COURTESY PHOTO

    A Hawaiian Airlines flight to San Francisco was forced to turn back to Honolulu Saturday because of an unruly passenger who allegedly became agitated over the cost of a blanket and yelled at a flight attendant.

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A Hawaiian Airlines flight to San Francisco from Kahului was forced to turn back to Honolulu Saturday because of an alleged unruly passenger.

The FBI says the captain of flight 42 turned the aircraft around after a flight attendant informed him that passenger Anthony Niederreiter was agitated and yelling.

The attendant told the FBI that she first noticed Niederreiter getting agitated after he asked her for a blanket and she told him it will cost him $10. The attendant says later in the flight, she knocked on the bathroom door after Niederreiter had been in there for 10 minutes. She said Niederreiter flung open the door, yelled that he was not smoking but taking a “poop,” while sitting on the toilet with his shorts around his ankles.

Other flight attendants told the FBI that after Niederreiter returned to his seat he continued yelling, cursing and gesturing at them and kicked the bulkhead near his seat. He calmed down and apologized after the captain made the announcement that he was diverting the flight to Honolulu, the FBI said.

A woman who was traveling with him told the FBI that Niederreiter had been drinking prior to boarding the flight.

A Hawaiian Airlines spokesman says the plane landed in Honolulu, dropped off Niederreiter then resumed its flight to San Francisco.

Niederreiter was arrested for interfering with flight crew members and attendants and taken to the Federal Detention Center.

At his initial court appearance on Monday, U.S. Magistrate Kevin S.C. Chang ordered Niederreiter released on $20,000 unsecured bond to a halfway house pending further prosecution.

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