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Passenger Mix-Up Diverts Tokyo-Bound Plane Back to LAX

The 180-degree voyage was 8 hours

A Tokyo-bound plane out of Los Angeles International Airport headed back to the airfield Tuesday hours after taking off when a mix-up caused the flight crew to believe an unauthorized person was on board.

Airport police had been told to be ready for All Nippon Airways (ANA) Flight 175's return to LAX before it was discovered there was a mix-up that was ultimately straightened out, airport police told reporters.

ANA confirmed that a passenger boarded an incorrect flight and informed the pilot, which prompted the return as part of the airline's security procedure.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the agency conducted interviews Tuesday night but made no arrest. She said no charges were filed, but the investigation is ongoing.

The plane finally departed -- for a second time -- to Tokyo some time before 3:30 a.m. PST.

Model Chrissy Teigen, who was aboard the plane, said on Twitter that the jetliner turned back to LAX four hours into the flight.

"A flying first for me: 4 hours into an 11-hour flight and we are turning around because we have a passenger who isn't supposed to be on this plane. Why... why do we all gotta go back, I do not know," she tweeted.

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She continued tweeting about the inconvenience she, her husband John Legend and her fellow passengers faced, as well as the lounge she was taken to. She eventually boarded a new flight early Wednesday morning.

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ANA released an apology to its passengers for the "inconvenience."

"ANA is researching the situation currently to determine how the passenger boarded the flight," the airline said in a statement.

A U.S. government official with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that the incident involved two brothers — one ticketed on ANA and the other on a United Airlines flight leaving about the same time.

The official who spoke on condition of anonymity says both cleared security and had valid boarding passes. ANA and United are codeshare partners.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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