Plane Emergency Landing After Unruly Passenger Detained by Others on Board

A flight to Los Angeles was diverted to Salt Lake City on Tuesday afternoon because of an unruly passenger.

Virgin Atlantic flight VS 141, which departed from London's Heathrow Airport, made an emergency landing at Salt Lake International Airport at around 4 p.m. local time. The passenger was taken into custody, KUTV reported, citing airport officials.

The passenger had been restrained by other passengers and members of the flight's crew, police told Newsweek.

"At approximately 4:30 p.m. MT on July 26 2022, SLC Airport Division Police were called to respond to a Virgin Atlantic flight that was diverted into [Salt Lake City] due to an unruly passenger onboard a Virgin Atlantic flight who had been physically detained by other passengers and flight crew members," Salt Lake City Police said.

The aircraft resumed its journey and landed in Los Angeles just before 8 p.m. local time, a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic told Newsweek.

"Due to a disruptive passenger onboard flight VS141 operating from London Heathrow to Los Angeles on Tuesday 26 July, the aircraft diverted to Salt Lake City to be met by police authorities," the spokesperson said.

"The safety and well-being of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we don't tolerate any behavior that compromises this. We always want our customers to have the best experience when they fly with us and our cabin crew are highly trained to deal with any individuals that may impact that experience for others."

"We apologize for the inconvenience caused to customers onboard."

In a statement to Newsweek, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration said: "Virgin Atlantic Flight 141, a Boeing 787-9, landed safely at Salt Lake City International Airport around 4:30 p.m. local time after the crew reported a passenger disturbance on board.

"The flight departed London Heathrow International Airport and was headed to Los Angeles International Airport when it diverted. Please contact local law enforcement or the airline for more details."

Salt Lake City Airport has been contacted for comment.

Since January, the FAA has proposed fines totaling about $2 million for disruptive passengers.

The FAA announced the highest fines issued under its zero-tolerance policy in April.

They included a fine of $81,950 to a passenger on an American Airlines flight in July flight who allegedly pushed a flight attendant aside and tried to open the cabin door. The passenger allegedly spat at, head butted and tried to kick the crew add other passengers even after she was restrained in flex cuffs.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 arrives
A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 arrives at Los Angeles International Airport on June 18, 2017. Virgin Atlantic flight VS 141 to Los Angeles was diverted to Salt Lake City on Tuesday afternoon because of an unruly passenger. FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images