A fake medical emergency caused a Florida flight to divert

Dec 1, 2019

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Travel can be stressful any time of year but add the craziness of the holidays and you can bet you’ll see some strange stuff in the air between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That’s was the case on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, when a Miami-bound American Airlines flight had to divert to Pensacola due to a passenger faking a medical emergency.

And, why did this person fake an emergency? According to a report in the Associated Press, she wanted a roomier seat. It’s unclear what type of medical condition the woman faked, but the situation was serious enough for the pilot and crew to decide to return to Pensacola. The flight had only been en route for a short time.

(Photo by Getty Images)
(Photo by Getty Images)

When the plane landed, the unidentified woman refused to deplane, forcing an evacuation of other passengers. Thereafter, the pilot and local authorities convinced the woman to leave the aircraft.

Police took the woman into custody, citing the state’s Baker Act that “encourages the voluntary admission of person for psychiatric care, but only when they are able to understand the decision and its consequences and are able to fully exercise their rights for themselves. When this is not possible due to the severity of the person’s condition, the law requires that the person be extended the due process rights assured under the involuntary provisions of the Baker Act.”

American Airlines resumed the diverted flight at about 7:30 a.m. on Friday and got the rest of the passengers safely to Miami.

Featured image by Issarawat Tattong/Getty Images

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