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“Unruly Passenger” on Diverted US Airways Flight? Or What?

November 18, 2009 | Posted in: Europe,Passengers,Travel Safety

US Airways diverted a flight from Philadelphia to London Monday, after a Scottish man refused to move his arm.

Sounds weird, I know, but the man, John Murray, had his arm in a cast due to a motorcycle accident that “nearly killed him” (according to the Boston Herald) – an accident that did cost him a couple of fingers.

Apparently the man was in an aisle seat, despite his requests for a window seat so he could better rest his arm. There was some sort of argument with a flight attendant, who was trying to move a cart down the aisle, but couldn’t, because Murray had his arm in the way and refused to move it.

There’s more to this odd little story, so keep reading…

According to news stories, Murray became belligerent, and ultimately the pilot decided to divert the flight to Boston, where the man was charged with interfering with a flight crew.

I’ll be the first to say it: you DON’T interfere with a flight crew – it’s simply wrong. Still, I can’t help but wonder: did this man’s medical condition really require a window seat? Did he make this known before he got on the plane? Was he angry and demanding, or what? What was his demeanor? I don’t believe a pilot would lightly decide to divert an international flight, but the story does leave some lingering questions…

By the way, alcohol is not believed to be a factor in any of this. And for what it’s worth, Murray does have a home in Jacksonville, Florida – and commutes between the US and the UK frequently.

I’ve contacted US Airways, and will let you know what they have to say about this, as soon as I find out.

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