A flight from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport headed to Cartagena, Colombia took off almost a full day later than expected following an altercation with a passenger who would not ditch her drink.
According to WSVN, the flight was originally delayed due to a maintenence issue and passengers were forced to de-board the plane. While waiting to re-board, one passenger grabbed an alcoholic drink and would not abandon it, despite insistence from security and other airline personnel.
“We all sit back down, and this woman is getting on the plane, and she has a mixed drink,” said passenger Ryan Brooke, “and the attendants are telling her, ‘You can either finish it outside the plane or you can throw it away.'”
After warnings from flight attendants, the woman barged through other passengers to make it to the plane's bathroom, where she locked herself inside from upwards of 20 minutes.
“Oh, so they want to attack me,” the woman can be heard saying in video caught by fellow passengers. “Wait until the police come.”
“She like threw her drink at one of the people working on the plane,” said a passenger.
By the time security eventually removed the belligerent woman, the pilots had expired their maximum fly time and weren’t legally allowed to fly the plane, leading to the cancellation of the flight.
“Everybody asked her, ‘Please, get off,’ because we had 10 minutes to push off,” said another passenger. “They were ready to push off, literally ready to push off. She’s the one that stopped the whole thing. When I heard the word ‘sheriff,’ I said, ‘We are not gonna make the 10 minute window,’ but the stewardesses all said if she gets off voluntarily we can push off, and she heard that, and she says, ‘Well, I am not getting off. If I don’t go, nobody does.'”
“We regret that one person was able to adversely affect a flight for the rest of the customers and we are doing everything we can to get those customers to Cartagena,” said a rep for Spirit shortly after the incident. Most of the passengers were able to re-book their flights for the following day.
Because the woman eventually left voluntarily she was not arrested. Her ticket was refunded as well.