There's no shortage of things passengers can do to cause a flight to go off course but complaining about inflight movies may be the latest offence that'll not only cause a diversion but result in passengers getting the boot too.
Earlier this year, a United Airlines flight set to fly to Baltimore from Denver on Feb. 2 was forced to make a diversion in Chicago after a family of four was deemed a "security concern" by the plane's captain. In a passenger report filed against United Airlines, a couple complained to two flight attendants that the inflight movie, Alex Cross, was inappropriate for their two children, ages four and eight.
The couple asked the flight attendants to turn off the movie since the film was playing on a drop down screen and there was no way for the children to avoid watching the movie's sexually-explicit" and "violent" scenes, reports the Atlantic. The film is rated 14A in Canada and PG 13 in the U.S. for its use of disturbing images, sexual content, language, drug references, and nudity.
After no success with turning off the film, the couple asked if the captain could do anything about the matter. For an hour the couple were left to shield their children's eyes from what they call 'horrific' scenes, until the pilot announced there would be a flight diversion due to "security concerns" according to the Daily Telegraph.
Once in Chicago, police boarded the plane and asked the family to disembark. They were then interviewed by local authorities. The family was put on a later flight bound for Baltimore according to ABC News.
A statement issued by United Airlines to Fox News confirmed the incident and says the airline is looking into its inflight entertainment but failed to address the family's first complaint about the pilot.
"To us, this incident raises two grave issues. First, the abuse of power by [the unnamed captain]. We understand that airline captains can and should have complete authority. However, when this authority is used for senseless, vindictive acts, it must be addressed," the passengers wrote in their complaint.
The family maintains they were calm and polite during the entire incident. MSN adds that local authorities were "incredulous" over the pilot's overreaction.
"Throughout these interactions the atmosphere was collegial, no voices were raised and no threats, implicit or explicit, of any kind were made," the letter said.
Earlier on HuffPost:
It's a good idea to wait until everyone's fully seated on the plane before getting intoxicated. <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/08/21/calgary-oil-executive-flight-disruption.html" target="_hplink">Justin Neil Frank, a 35-year-old Calgary man was arrested after forcing an Air Canada flight from London to Calgary back in August.</a> CBC reports Frank was drunk when he boarded the plane and kept drinking throughout — that is, when he wasn't walking down the aisles claiming to be an oil executive (he works as a rig service electrician). He was later tied down to his seat with duct tape and straps and arrested by the RCMP when the flight landed in Edmonton.
In late August, a United Airlines flight en route to Geneva, Switzerland from Newark, New Jersey was forced to divert in Boston because of an... ordinary camera. Well, to be fair, police and airline crew thought the unclaimed camera could potentially be a bomb, which is <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/07/flight-diverted-over-unclaimed-camera/" target="_hplink">why the 169 people on board had to be removed from the plane</a> while bomb technicians disposed of the camera.
A Bad Joke
The most recent restriction to flying has been the limitation of liquids, gels and aerosols to containers no greater than 100 ml or 100 grams. Combine this with a prank call and you've got the fixings for a bomb scare. Last September, a passenger was victim of a bomb hoax when someone called <a href="http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/story/2012-09-06/Philadelphia-to-Dallas-flight-returns-to-airport/57629992/1" target="_hplink">police at Philadelphia International Airport informing them that a passenger was "carrying a dangerous substance"</a>, as reported by USA Today. The passenger's name matched with someone on board a flight bound to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The plane was forced to return to Philadelphia where police arrested the passenger, only to release him after realizing he had done nothing wrong.
A Prayer Box
Back in January of 2010, a US Airways flight leaving New York and heading to Louisville, Kentucky had to divert to Philadelphia due to a misunderstanding over a teenager's prayer box. The 17-year-old Jewish boy was flying with his sister when he started using his <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,583542,00.html" target="_hplink">tefillin, a set of small black boxes containing biblical passages that are attached to leather straps, attaching one box to his head and the other to his arm</a>, according to Fox News. Crew members of the flight questioned the boy but weren't able to get a "clear response" and asked the plane to turn back to Philadelphia for a more thorough investigation.
What can only be interpreted as a big misunderstanding is also the reason why a partially blind 86-year-old-man caused a Spirit Airlines flight from California to Florida to be diverted to Houston back in July. The man, who <a href="http://www.canada.com/health/Police+Partially+blind+scared+unruly+aboard+Spirit+flight+diverted/6905688/story.html" target="_hplink">only spoke French, became unruly and started swinging at passengers because he was "scared,"</a> reports Canada.com
Medical Help From Obama
Back in May, a French woman managed to divert a US Airways flight from Paris to North Carolina after claiming she had been surgically implanted with a device. Flight 787 landed in Bangor International Airport unexpectedly after Lucie Zeeko Marigot, 41, said <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/23/us-airways-flight-diverte_n_1539618.html" target="_hplink">she had something inside of her that was "out of control" and was travelling to the U.S. to seek medical help from President Barack Obama and the American people</a>. Marigot was never charged by U.S. authorities but was sent back to France, according to U.S. Attorney, Thomas Delahanty II.
Flight Attendant Squabble
What was supposed to be a normal flight from North Carolina to Chicago resulted in a diversion after a fight broke out between two flight attendants on board a United Airlines plane. Raleigh-Durham International Airport <a href="http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/flight-attendant-tiff-forces-plane-diversion-again/story-e6frfq80-1226482329909" target="_hplink">received an early morning call from the pilot of Flight 1214, saying that there was an assault on board</a>, according to News.com, when it was actually a verbal argument between two stewards. When the plane returned to North Carolina, the attendants were removed and the plane was restaffed.