Two passengers who had allegedly consumed a "significant quantity" of alcohol caused a Sunwing flight from Toronto to Cuba to return to the airport under a military escort after they smoked in the bathroom, tripped a fire alarm, got into a fight, and made a "threat against the aircraft."
Two fighter jets escorted the plane back to Toronto after the pilot turned it around over South Carolina. From the AP:
[Sunwing vice-president Janine Chapman] said they lit a cigarette, triggering the smoke alarm, and "proceeded to get into a physical altercation with each other and made a threat against the aircraft."
NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) said it scrambled two CF-18 fighter jets based out of Quebec, Canada, to escort Flight 656 back to Toronto.
Major Julie Roberge, a spokeswoman for NORAD, said the CF-18s met the aircraft at the Canadian border and did not venture into American airspace.
According to a local constable, fellow passengers "erupted in cheers" as Ratmanski and Muzikante were pulled off. This marks the third time this week a plane was diverted after a fight among passengers: Wednesday, a Miami-to-Paris flight landed in Boston after two passengers fought over a reclining seat, and Friday, a Newark-to-Denver landed in Chicago after a fight broke out over a "knee defender."
However you feel about reclining versus legroom, your own personal comfort versus that of your fellow passenger, or whatever Ratmanski and Muzikante were fighting about, know this: If you participate in a fight that makes a plane touch down in a different destination ahead of schedule, you're always an asshole.
[Image via Sunday Morning Herald/Facebook]