Alaska Airlines Diverts Flight to Remove 'Disruptive' Passengers

A group of disruptive passengers reportedly forced an Alaska Airlines flight to divert and land in order to remove the troublesome travelers.

Alaska Airlines flight 109 was scheduled to fly from Seattle to Anchorage on Saturday night but was delayed by several hours due to a series of setbacks.

Multiple passengers were removed for "disruptive behavior" before the flight even took off, the airline said.

"Before the flight departed Seattle, a group of guests was removed from the aircraft because of their disruptive behavior," Alaska Airlines said in a statement provided to KTUU. "Others in the party were allowed to continue onto Anchorage."

An Alaska Airlines flight came in hours after scheduled following several passengers having to be removed for causing a disturbance on board. https://t.co/Jfcx0l6WKz

— Alaska's News Source (@AKNewsNow) September 5, 2021

Once in the air, one of the five remaining group members started to threaten crew members and other passengers, the publication reported.

The behavior caused the flight to divert to the Alaskan capital of Juneau, where the rest of the group was removed.

The passengers removed in Juneau did not continue to Anchorage on an Alaska Airlines flight, according to the airline.

Footage taken from inside the aircraft and shared by the outlet showed at least five male passengers being escorted from the plane by authorities. It is unclear whether the men were removed from the aircraft in Seattle or Juneau.

It also remains unclear how many passengers were part of the original group and the exact nature of their disruptive behavior.

Newsweek has contacted Alaska Airlines for comment.

In August, an Alaska Airlines flight evacuated all passengers onboard due to a fire caused by a cell phone in the plane's cargo hold.

The Port of Seattle Fire Department (POSFD) responded to reports of a fire on the Alaska Airlines's flight at around 8:30 p.m. local time on Monday, August 23, after the aircraft landed at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington.

An Alaska Airlines spokesperson told Newsweek that the blaze broke out on the plane "shortly after landing" when a passenger's phone caught on fire, prompting everyone onboard to be evacuated once it landed at the Seattle airport.

In total, 128 passengers and six crew members were evacuated from the plane while the plane was towed to the gate without any impact on aircraft operations.

The airline also hit the news recently when it announced Friday, September 3, that all employees vaccinated against COVID-19 would receive a $200 bonus payment.

The company said that while 75 percent of its employees have already been vaccinated, it is aiming to move closer to the 100 percent mark. In addition to offering a financial bonus, the airline will require all new employees to be vaccinated before being hired.

Furthermore, unvaccinated staff members will now have to submit to a new testing protocol and participate in a mandatory vaccine education program. Those employees will also not be eligible for special coronavirus pay if they contract COVID-19.

The airline joined other major air travel companies including American Airlines, Air Canada, Delta, and United Airlines in adopting stricter COVID-19 vaccination policies and incentives. Both United and Delta airlines have also announced vaccine mandates for employees, while American is offering vaccinated employees an extra day off in 2022 and $50 in its recognition program.

 Alaska Airlines
File photo: Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 takes off from Los Angeles International Airport on January 13, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Disruptive passengers reportedly forced an Alaska Airlines flight to divert and land in order to remove the troublesome travelers. AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images