The Pensacola Police Department announced Monday that a US woman spent her Thanksgiving weekend in protective custody following her early Friday morning attempt to acquire a larger seat on American Eagle flight 3508 from Pensacola, Florida, to Miami.
Police spokesman Mike Wood told ABC News that the woman, who remains unidentified by authorities, commenced her antics after the flight took off at around 5:43 a.m. Unhappy with being told that all “the seats were all the same,” she began to act out and caused the plane to make a return to Pensacola International Airport.
Despite her purported medical emergency, the woman refused to leave the aircraft once it arrived back on the tarmac at around 6:26 a.m. As a result, her fellow passengers were evacuated, and authorities and medical personnel boarded the plane.
Wood noted that the woman did eventually comply with officials’ request to leave the plane and was taken into protective custody under Florida’s Baker Act - which allows authorities to detain an individual if they are believed to be “mentally ill” and are perceived to be a threat to themselves or others.
Passengers were eventually allowed to reboard the plane, which once again departed from the international airport at 7:41 a.m., according to an American Airlines spokesperson who spoke with ABC News.
While the Pensacola Police Department did not press charges against the woman, the office did explain that American Airlines reserves the right to pursue legal action against her. It remains unclear whether the company intends to do so.
The passenger in question was released on Monday and ultimately made it to her intended destination of Miami.