AT United Airlines flight was turned back to Newark Liberty International Airport hours into a flight to Israel after a passenger sat in a crew seat while waiting to use the bathroom.
United Airlines Flight 90 was three hours into its journey to Tel Aviv on Sunday when the unruly passenger became embroiled in a shouting match with a flight attendant.
And other passengers on the flight reportedly only found out they were returning to the US from the flight maps on their screens.
“Crew members told him that if he did not return to his seat, the plane would be turned back to New York,” a passenger only identified as Sholomit told the Israeli outlet ynet.
The eyewitness added that the passenger had not appeared to pose a threat.
A United Airlines spokesperson told Insider that the flight had returned to Newark because of the behavior of a “disruptive passenger.”
“United flight 90 traveling from Newark to Tel Aviv returned to Newark shortly after takeoff due to a disruptive passenger. Law enforcement put the aircraft and removed the passenger. A new flight was scheduled to depart Sunday evening,” the airline told The Independent.
The airline added that upon arrival at Newark, the flight was met by law enforcement and the passenger was removed.
All of the remaining passengers were then taken off the flight, which was rescheduled for Sunday evening.
Passenger Jeff Hunt took to Twitter to share a video of the passenger apparently being removed from the flight.
And he wrote that the passenger was then seen wandering around the airport “pleading his case” to other travellers, insisting he had not been physical and that the flight crew had overreacted.
“He just kind of hung around everybody, which was bizarre and bold,” Mr Hunt said.
“If I was escorted off an airplane I would have hung my head in shame and disappeared, but he spent four hours talking to people.”