Hawaiian Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Honolulu was diverted to Los Angeles on Wednesday when a passenger had refused to pay $12 for a blanket.
The passenger had then spoken with Hawaiian customer service using an in-flight phone and the airline deemed the passenger a “threat” and diverted the flight.
Here’s what LA Times reports (access the piece here):
The incident began after the plane took off from Las Vegas, and a 66-year-old passenger complained that he was cold, according to Officer Rob Pedregon, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Airport Police Department.
He asked for a blanket and was told it would cost $12, the officer said. The man became upset and said he shouldn’t have to pay because it was cold, he said.
So he asked to speak with the airline’s corporate office. During an in-flight call with company representatives, the man allegedly said, “I would like to take someone behind the woodshed for this.”
And here’s from Honolulu Star Advertiser (access the piece here):
There will be no follow-up investigation or criminal charges, said Rob Pedegro, spokesman for the Los Angeles Airport Police.
“It was just a complaint about a blanket, about the cost of the blanket, correct,” Pedegro said. “He was upset about the charge for the blanket and asked for a corporate phone number. 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 did not release the man’s identity or home town but said, “he was not arrested, not charged. He was just removed from the plane. No criminal charges. No charges by the FBI. None by us. He was just refused service. He was released and able to find a different service provider.”
I usually find most airline cabins to be too hot. Perhaps Hawaiian intentionally keeps them cold in order to sell these $12 blankets?
I have to say that this is about the most ridiculous reason for a flight diversion as of late. Surprised that nobody was willing to pay for the $12 blanket considering the delay and costs involved with the diversion.