Miami to New York City American Airlines makes landing as passenger discharge pepper spray into cabin

Wednesday, August 23, 2023


An American Airlines flight, en route from Miami to New York City, was compelled to land in Jacksonville, Florida, after a passenger reportedly discharged pepper spray into the cabin. The incident unfolded about 30 minutes into the journey, causing distress among passengers. According to a Reddit user claiming to have been on the flight, people in the back began coughing and experiencing visibility issues.

Amid confusion, a flight attendant requested information about the situation, leading the pilot to decide on a diversion to Jacksonville. Subsequently, the individual responsible admitted it was an accidental release. After landing, police removed the passenger and their family. The plane was cleaned, and its journey to New York resumed, albeit with several hours’ delay.

While one Reddit user perceived the incident as an accident, another asserted it was intentional, describing the fear and discomfort passengers endured due to breathing difficulties and skin and eye irritation.

American Airlines confirmed the unscheduled landing resulted from a “disruptive incident involving a customer.” The circumstances of how the pepper spray entered the cabin remain unclear. The Transportation Security Administration prohibits pepper spray in carry-on bags, although certain airlines permit small containers with safety mechanisms to prevent accidental discharge. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.

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