Dispute over $10 blanket gets passenger booted from Hawaiian Airlines flight

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Caption
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

A Hawaiian Airlines passenger said he would "really like to take someone behind the woodshed" over the cost of a $10 blanket on Wednesday, prompting the plane's pilot to make an unscheduled stop so that airport police could escort him from the plane, according to multiple reports.

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The 66-year-old man, who was not identified, complained of being cold shortly after the Honolulu-bound flight took off from Las Vegas at 8:45 a.m., the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Los Angeles Times reported.

"He was upset about the charge for the blanket and asked for a corporate phone number," Los Angeles Airport Police spokesman Rob Pedegro told the Star-Advertiser. "They provided him with it and (then) he said, 'I'd really like to take somebody behind the woodshed over this.' They diverted the aircraft because of that statement."

Pedegro told the Times that "the man became upset and said he shouldn't have to pay because it was cold."

In a statement released to the Star-Advertiser, Hawaiian Airlines officials said the complaint came about an hour into the flight. The airline described the man as an "unruly passenger."

"Our flight crews are responsible for the safety and comfort of all passengers on board our flights, and the captain in charge of the aircraft is entrusted with determining when it's best to deplane an anxious or unruly passenger," the airline said. "Diverting a fight is clearly not our first choice, but our crew felt it was necessary in this case to divert to Los Angeles and deplane the passenger before beginning to fly over the Pacific Ocean."

Airport police met the plane at Los Angeles International Airport at 10:20 a.m., the Las Vegas Journal-Review reported. Two officers escorted the man off the plane, and a subsequent investigation determined that "no credible threats were made and no laws were broken," according to the newspaper.

The man was later able to take another flight, according to the Times.