Unruly passenger causes emergency landing on LAX to Ft. Lauderdale flight

Unruly passenger causes emergency landing on LAX to Ft. Lauderdale flight
Stock image from Houston's Bush International Airport.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 12:00am

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 12:04am

About 100 passengers on a red-eye flight bound to Florida were in for the ride of their lives when an unruly passenger caused them to be 12 hours late.

Spirit Airlines Airbus A319 departed on time at 9:58 p.m. Saturday from Los Angeles with a scheduled arrival of 6 a.m. in Ft. Lauderdale.

But midway through the flight, the plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Houston's Bush International airport.

According to Local 10 News, an 81-year-old blind man became ornery during the flight, kicking and screaming before being taken into custody.

Passengers were forced to sit on the tarmac for hours and were then offered a 5-hour bus ride to Dallas, since the airline doesn't operate out of Houston.

Eventually the passengers were flown out on a different plane, arriving at 8 p.m. Sunday -- a full 12 hours late.

"We understand that this has been an inconvenience for our customers, but the safety of our customers is always the top priority," Spirit Airlines said in a statement. "All customers are being given full refunds for this inconvenience."

Spirit says the delay was caused by crew constraints that prevented them from allowing the original flight to take off.

No charges have been filed against the unruly passenger.

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