Florida-bound Delta flight diverted over
reclining seat dispute
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[September 03, 2014]
By Daniel Wallis
(Reuters) - An argument over leg room and
reclining seats forced a Florida-bound flight from New York to divert to
a different airport late on Monday, the third such incident of a midair
disruption caused by passengers in about a week.
Delta Air Lines said that "out of an abundance of caution" the
captain of Flight 2370 from New York La Guardia to West Palm Beach
chose to land instead at the closest airport, Jacksonville, where
local law enforcement removed one passenger.
It did not elaborate on the "disruption," but a witness told
Jacksonville TV station WJXT TV-4 that an argument broke out during
the flight between one woman who wanted to recline her seat and
another in the row behind who wanted to sleep while resting on her
The witness said one of the women became loud and abusive when a
flight attendant was called.
The aircraft later flew on to West Palm Beach where it landed
shortly after 11 p.m., a couple of hours late. Delta representatives
did not immediately return a call for comment.
The latest incident came just five days after an American Airlines
flight to Paris from Miami was diverted to Boston following an
argument between passengers over a reclining seat.
In that case, a 60-year-old Frenchman was subdued by plainclothes
U.S. air marshals and charged in federal court with interfering with
flight crew members, prosecutors said.
Just days before that, a United Airlines flight from Newark, New
Jersey, to Denver on Aug. 24 had to be diverted to Chicago due to an
argument between passengers over a device that stops the seat in
front from reclining.
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The airline said one of those involved was using a Knee Defender, a
small wedge-like gadget that clips to a tray table and forces the
seat in front to stay upright. Many carriers, including United, ban
the use of the device.
(Reporting by Daniel Wallis in Denver; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
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