Florida Woman Accused Of Faking Medical Condition On Plane In Attempt To Get Bigger Seat

Shortly after takeoff, the unidentified passenger allegedly claimed she was having trouble breathing.

By Jill Sederstrom
Digital Original
Shocking Fraud and Scam Cases

A Florida woman allegedly faked a medical condition on a plane — claiming to be having difficulty breathing — in an attempt to get a bigger seat, ultimately forcing the plane to be diverted.

The woman, who has not been identified, had been a passenger on an early morning flight Friday from Pensacola to Miami when Pensacola Police said she faked a medical emergency forcing the plane to return to Pensacola and delaying other passengers, NBC News reports.

The incident began shortly after the 5:43 a.m. takeoff, when the female passenger allegedly began to complain and asked airplane staff if she could have a bigger seat. When the staff refused her request, she began to appear to become ill, according to CNN.

The woman allegedly reported that she was having trouble breathing. The pilot soon turned the plane around after declaring an emergency, Pensacola Police Department public information officer Mike Wood told NBC News.

Once the plane landed back in Pensacola around 6:26 a.m., the woman allegedly refused to de-plane while other passengers calmly exited.

Police and the flight’s captain were able to eventually convince her to get off the plane after suspecting that she had faked the medical condition.

American Airlines said in a statement to CNN that the American Eagle flight took off again for a second time at 7:41 a.m. that morning.

Wood told The Pensacola News Journal that after she was removed from the plane, the woman was taken into custody under the state’s Baker Act, which allows someone to be involuntarily held at a mental health facility if they are perceived to be a threat to themselves or others.

Wood said authorities made the decision to take her for a mental health assessment “due to some things that she said.”

The woman has not been charged with any crime; however, Wood said it is still possible charges could be filed in the incident.

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