Unruly passenger forces plane to land in Springs

January 8, 2010
photo - Colorado Springs Airport Photo by Gazette file
Colorado Springs Airport Photo by Gazette file 

An airliner with 132 passengers and crew aboard was diverted to Colorado Springs Airport today after an intoxicated passenger became unruly and locked himself in a bathroom, officials said.

AirTran Airways Flight 39 was en route from Atlanta to San Francisco when it made an unscheduled landing in Colorado Springs at 11:30 a.m., said John McGinley, the airport's assistant director of operations.

Two F-16 fighter planes were deployed by NORAD to escort the plane to the Colorado Springs Airport, NORAD officials said in a release.

The passenger, whose identity was not immediately released, was taken off the plane by Colorado Springs Police officers. McGinley would not comment on what was done with the passenger. A phone call seeking comment from the FBI, which is investigating the incident was not immediately returned.

"Given the current climate, it's just not a good idea," McGinley said of the man's actions during the flight.

The plane remained at the airport for about four hours before resuming its flight to San Francisco.

No flights or other operations at the airport were disrupted.


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