Los Angeles

Spat Over Cost of Blanket Cost Prompts Hawaiian Airlines Flight to Divert

The passenger "made a statement that he wanted to take somebody behind the woodshed over this," police said

A Hawaiian Airlines flight from Las Vegas had to divert to Los Angeles after a passenger complained about the cost of a blanket.

The airline confirmed that flight HA7 from Las Vegas was about an hour into its trip Wednesday when the plane turned and stopped in Los Angeles, KHON-TV reported.

There was a dispute between a 66-year-old male passenger and the flight crew over the cost of a blanket, said Rob Pedregon of the Los Angeles Airport Police. After being informed a blanket cost $12 the passenger "made a statement that he wanted to take somebody behind the woodshed over this, which prompted the flight crew to contact the captain who then in turn diverted the aircraft to LAX."

Los Angeles Airport Police and the FBI met the aircraft at the gate once it landed in Los Angeles. The passenger was not arrested.

Officials say the passenger did not make a credible or direct threat and no crime was committed.

"(The crew) took offense to the statement that he made. Maybe they felt uncomfortable with it, which is well within their rights to divert the plane and refuse service," Pedregon said.

Passengers on the flight had mixed reactions to the delay. Bianca Moors said she understood that the crew was just trying to stay safe.

"They're doing it to protect the passengers as well as the crew, because I think this is a very expensive stop for Hawaiian," she said.

Dallas resident Claudia Rodriguez said she wished the crew had been more communicative about the diversion and delay.

"The thing we were most upset about was when we got off the plane, when they deplaned us after sitting for an hour, we talked to one of the staff and we asked them what we would do next, and we were not given a lot of information," she said. "They told us to go ahead and seek other options, so we went ahead and bought another ticket for my husband and I and we're not going to get a refund on that one. We ended up losing $600."

The flight departed Los Angeles a few hours later.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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