United Airlines flight to Israel turns back three hours into flight

United Airlines flight to Israel turns back three hours into flight

April 25, 2023

NYC to Tel Aviv flight turns back three HOURS into journey after passenger gets into screaming match with crew over using the bathroom

  • A United flight from Newark, New Jersey to Tel Aviv turned back three hours after taking off 
  • A passenger refused to get up from the airline steward’s seat, others say
  • The airline says it returned ‘shortly after takeoff due to a disruptive passenger’ 

A flight to Israel turned back three hours after taking off because a passenger refused to get up from the airline steward’s seat while waiting for the bathroom.

United Airlines flight 90 was on its way to Tel Aviv from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey Sunday morning when it made a U-turn, the airline confirmed.

The plane took off from Newark after midnight at 12:48am, in the early hours of Sunday, and landed back there at 6:28am, according to data from FlightAware.

United said the ‘disruptive’ passenger was escorted off the plane first but that all the other passengers also had to disembark as the flight needed to be rescheduled.

A new flight was set for Sunday evening and passengers eventually made it to Tel Aviv after 6am on Monday morning.

A passenger who sat in a seat reserved for airline cabin crew caused a United Airlines flight bound for Tel Aviv, Israel, to turn back three hours into the flight

United Airlines flight 90 turned back having already traveled for nearly three hours across the Atlantic Ocean. Its path is shown 

One passenger told Israeli website Ynet that a man wanted to use the bathroom, but because none were free,  sat in a seat intended for the cabin crew. 

When a flight attendant raised their voice at the man and asked him to get out of the seat, he shouted back and would not get out of the seat.

‘Crew members told him that if he did not return to his seat, the plane would be turned back to New York,’ the eyewitness told Ynet.

She said the unruly passenger did not believe the threat, so he stayed in the seat, but to everyone’s surprise, the crew member followed through by instructing the pilot to turn around.

The witness also said passengers were not notified of the change of course and were surprised to see the plane had changed course.

‘No one bothered to inform us,’ she said. ‘We just noticed it on the map showing our flight path and when we landed, we saw the police waiting for the plane.’

The disruptive man was seen speaking with other passengers after the flight returned to New Jersey 

Video taken by a passenger shows the moment the unidentified man was escorted out of the plane carrying his hand luggage.

Another video, recorded by passenger Jeff Hunt, shows the man talking about the incident with a group of people back at the Newark airport as everyone is waiting to collect their baggage. 

Hunt recounted his experience on Twitter and commented on the fact the man was just walking around the airport.

‘Guy who disrupted a flight to Tel Aviv and forced a return to Newark not even arrested. Just wondering the airport pleading his case. Unbelievable,’ he wrote. 

In a subsequent tweet he added: ‘Guy that forced our plane to turnaround halfway over the Atlantic continues to make his case. Claims all he did was raise his voice in frustration over delayed flight. No violence. Also, no remorse from him for delaying eveyone’s elses travel.’

United Airlines provided a statement to DailyMail.com, reading: ‘United flight 90 traveling from Newark to Tel Aviv returned to Newark shortly after takeoff due to a disruptive passenger.

‘Law enforcement met the aircraft and removed the passenger. A new flight was scheduled to depart Sunday evening.’

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