On Wednesday morning, a large group of people were set to fly from one great place to another, Las Vegas to Hawaii. Only they had to make a pitstop in between because one passenger was obnoxious and didn’t deserve to go to Hawaii on time.
The flight was diverted to LAX, but not because a passenger was sick or endangering his or her fellow passengers. Instead, it was because of his reaction to the price of the in-flight blanket, which was an incredibly high $12.
According to CBS Los Angeles, Hawaiian Airlines flight #7 had already passed Los Angeles and was flying over the ocean when a 66-year-old man aboard the plane took umbrage with the $12 cost for a blanket.
CBS LA spoke with Los Angeles Airport police and learned witnesses claimed the passenger argued he shouldn’t have to pay the $12 fee because of how cold it was on the plane. From there, he asked for permission and the number to call the Hawaiian Airlines corporate headquarters to complain about the fee. That’s when things got weird.
According to police, he then said, “I’d like to take someone behind the wood shed for this.”
Nobody was harmed and no fight occurred on the plane, but when crew members refused to serve the passenger, the pilot decided the plane needed to dump fuel and landed the plane at LAX at 10:15 am. At that point, the passenger was escorted off the flight by police.
“I thought it was ridiculous,” passenger Eileen Berstrom said. “First of all, it costs $12,000 for them to land here, and it’s a $12 blanket.”
So does that meant the passenger pays the $12,000 fee for the landing? The man wasn’t charged after police determined he wasn’t a threat, and he later flew to Hawaii on a different airline, presumably getting a blanket from another source for less than $12.
After the incident, Hawaiian Airlines released this statement:
“Diverting a flight is clearly not our first choice, but our crew felt it was necessary in this case to divert to Los Angeles and deplane the passenger before beginning to fly over the Pacific Ocean.”
Officer Rod Pedregon spoke with reporters including CNN and said the passenger was cited as an “unruly passenger,” but wasn’t charged by the police or FBI who met with flight crew and passengers before the plane left and landed in Hawaii, four hours behind schedule.
“After questioning the parties involved, we determined no crime was committed, and there was no direct threat,” Pedregon told CNN.
The lesson here? Next time you fly from the desert oasis of Las Vegas to the hot sweaty beaches of Hawaii, bring a blanket with you, because it may be cold on the plane.