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London-bound flight TURNS BACK to Miami because passenger refused to wear a mask 


London-bound American Airlines flight turns back to Miami an HOUR AND HALF into journey because ‘disruptive’ female passenger refused to wear a mask

  • The American Airlines Flight AAL38 came back to Miami International Airport and was met by police 
  • The passenger, a woman in her 40s, was escorted off the plane, according to Miami-Dade police. The woman was not arrested 
  • The flight – a Boeing 777 carrying 129 passengers and 14 crew members to Heathrow in London – was approximately 500 miles into a 4,400-mile flight 
  • American Airlines apologized in a statement Thursday
  • Were you on American Airlines Flight 38? Contact us at [email protected] 


A flight from Miami to London Wednesday night turned around and went back to the point of departure because a passenger refused to wear a mask. 

The airline called Miami police and officers escorted a woman off the plane at Miami International Airport Wednesday evening without incident. 

A spokesperson for the Miami-Dade Police Department said American Airlines staff dealt ‘administratively’ with the passenger. 

The passenger, a woman in her 40s, was not arrested. It was unclear if she was British or American. She was put on American Airline’s internal no-fly list pending further investigation.

American said there were 129 passengers and 14 crew members on the plane. Pilots turned the Boeing 777 around about 500 miles into the 4,400-mile transatlantic flight. 

A London-bound American Airlines flight turned back about 500 miles into its 4,400-mile journey from Miami

An American Airlines passenger jets prepare for departure as flight crews look on

An American Airlines passenger jets prepare for departure as flight crews look on

The airline apologized in a statement Thursday.  

‘Flight 38 with service from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR) returned to MIA due to disruptive customer refusing to comply with the federal mask requirement,’ a spokesperson said. ‘The flight landed at MIA where local law enforcement met the aircraft. We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.’ 

Airlines reported nearly 6,000 incidents involving unruly passengers last year and 151 in the first two weeks of this year, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Most of them involved passengers who refused to wear masks. 

The flight was canceled as a result of the incident. Many passengers had to stay overnight in Miami to catch a re-booked flight on Thursday.  

‘We weren’t given any instructions, just told that we had to go back and now we can’t get our luggage,’ said one passenger to CBS4.

Many on the plane had were completely in the dark on why the flight returned to Miami.

‘They wouldn’t really say anything and I don’t think they told the flight attendants anything because all they would say is there was an extreme incident and they had to turn around,’ said another passenger.

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