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Plane bound for London forced to return to Miami after passenger refuses to wear mask

American Airliens airplane
Posted at 10:32 AM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 13:32:38-05

American Airlines says one of its flights to London turned around Wednesday night and returned to Miami after a woman on the plane refused to wear a face mask.

"American Airlines flight 38 with service from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR) returned to MIA due to a disruptive customer refusing to comply with the federal mask requirement," American Airlines said in a statement to CNN.

According to the Miami Herald, the flight was about 90 minutes into its journey and was flying 34,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean when it made a u-turn and returned to the airport.

The airline says it called Miami police, and officers escorted a woman off the plane at Miami International Airport without incident.

A spokesperson for the Miami-Dade Police Department said Thursday that American Airlines staff dealt with the passenger administratively. CNN says the flight was canceled after it returned to the gate.

"We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience," American said in a statement.

According to a mandate by the Federal Aviation Administration, all passengers on flights in and out of the U.S. are required to wear masks or facial coverings to limit the spread of COVID-19. The FAA says it has seen a disturbing increase in unruly passenger behavior since the start of the pandemic.