Unruly, maskless passenger forces London-bound flight to return to Miami

About 500 miles into the journey, the flight had to turn back as the customer refused to comply with the federal mask mandate

For airline staff, navigating the pandemic has meant grappling with a surge in bad behavior, ranging from temper tantrums to punching flight attendants in the face.

In the latest incident, 129 passengers paid a remarkable price: a maskless “disruptive customer” forced American Airlines’ flight AAL38 flying from Miami to London to turn around and go back, the New York Times reported. The reversal occurred off the North Carolina coast, after the flight had traveled about 500 miles.

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